- Associated Press - Monday, March 21, 2011

PARIS (AP) - UEFA says Europe will retain the same format to decide which 13 nations qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Following a meeting of the executive committee in Paris, UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said Europe will enter the same 53 countries which played in the 2010 World Cup qualifying tournament, when nine group winners gained direct entry to the event in South Africa.

The eight best runners-up will be drawn in two-legged playoffs to decide four remaining slots.

The preliminary draw for the 2014 World Cup, which will feature 32 teams, is scheduled for July 30 in Brazil.

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