The plan by the Confederation of African Football to use the 2006 Nations Cup as its World Cup qualifying tournament could be abandoned.
African soccer leaders have belatedly woken up to the fact that the decision could cost them millions of dollars in gate takings and television revenue.
Countries like Algeria, Ghana and South Africa could play just two competitive games between 2004 and 2006.
All three countries are competing in three-team groups in the Tunisia 2004 qualifying campaign and will have just two home matches, therefore losing out on needed revenue.
At Caf’s last congress in Mali, president Issa Hayatou argued that the decision to use the Nations Cup as a World Cup qualifier would cut down on international fixture congestion.
It would also solve the problems associated with the call-up of European-based professionals for key games.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter is said to support Caf’s possible change of plan.
Fifa officials in Cairo for the opening of the new Caf headquarters suggested that Blatter will reinstate a separate World Cup qualifying campaign for Africa.
This would mean that Nations and World Cup qualifiers in 2006 will run parallel but give countries more matches.
Caf’s argument about fixture congestion has fallen flat with the decision of South America to keep its 10-team super group for their 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
Lucrative television rights played a major role in South America’s decision and Africa wants its own slice of the money cake.