Osasu Obayiuwana: Blowing the whistle on CAF 2014 qualification

That the 10 teams for the final knockout round, of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup finals, will be known by the end of the first week in September, following the conclusion of the group stages, is no breaking news.

But the CAF-inspired decision not to allow the continent's final five World Cup qualifiers emerge, directly, from the league format, as was the case for the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, is one that continues to leave more questions than answers, even now.

Why was a decisive league format - in which the most consistent performer, over a long stretch of games, earns the qualifying spot - discarded in favour of a final 'home and away' series?

A credible system that is good enough to produce Europe's 13 teams and all but possibly one of South America's, as well as those qualifying from their CONCACAF neighbours, is seen as not good enough for Africa.