New Zealand Football with the support of the Oceania Football Federation have asked FIFA to allow the Oceanian winners to join the final stages of Asian qualifying, instead of the usual playoff, in order to get more meaningful matches.
In December 2006, the FIFA Executive Committee did accept such a change as you can see in this FIFA press realease:
The preliminary competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will be played in the confederations as follows:
- Africa: the qualifying competition for the African Cup of Nations will once again be combined with the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup™ (start date: 13/14 October 2007).
- South America: the league system will once again be used (home and away matches) for a single group of 10 associations, but only double-header dates will be used. The provisional start date is September/October 2007.
- Oceania: in three phases, as for 2006. The first phase will be combined with the South Pacific Games 2007 and the OFC Nations Cup 2008, and the winning team will enter a group in Asia's final round.
- Asia, Europe, CONCACAF: in groups that have yet to be determined.
However, this didn't happen in the end. Perhaps because AFC members weren't very keen to travel long distances and thought they will easily overcome the Kiwis in the playoff. Maybe this time they will reconsider.