Pele has led calls for Asia to be awarded an extra automatic qualifying place in the World Cup.

Asia is currently allocated four automatic places plus one play-off place against a European side.

“From the performances of Asian sides at this World Cup, they have proven that they should have an additional one” said the Brazilian legend.

Pele’s view supported an earlier statement by AFC President Peter Verappan who said he would take the matter up with FIFA. South Korea and Japan fared well in the World Cup.

The red devils made it all the way to the semi finals where they were narrowly defeated by Germany, whilst Japan won their group but lost out to Turkey in the second round.

But other Asian sides did not fare so well. China and Saudi Arabia lost all their group matches and did not manage to score a goal between them.

The developments are sure to concern UEFA. Many observers have criticised the policy of allocating more places to developing nations, which means that top European sides often miss out, as was the case with the Netherlands and Czech Republic this year.