- Africa's slot at the 2026 World Cup will be increased from 5 to 9 teams
- FIFA had in January announced that the 2026 tournament will be expanded to 48 teams
- Europe will have 16 teams in the World Cup while South America will have 6 teams
FIFA has revealed its plans for how the 48 places at the 2026 World Cup will be allocated, with 9 African teams set to qualify.
It was gathered that the world governing body is proposing a six-nation play-off tournament to decide the last two slots at the tournament. The proposals which already has the seal of approval from FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his counterparts at the six confederations - are expected to be ratified by the Fifa Council on 9 May. onlinenigeria.com recalls that FIFA members voted in January to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams.
According to reports, all six confederations will have at least one team in the expanded tournament hence cancelling the inter-confederation play-offs. The World Cup hosts will still qualify automatically, with their slot taken from their confederation's quota.
The recommended places for each confederation are:
Africa - 9 (up from 5)
Asia - 8 (up from 4 or 5)
Europe - 16 (up from 13)
North, Central America and Caribbean - 6 (up from 3 or 4)
Oceania - 1 (from 0 or 1)
South America - 6 (up from 4 or 5)
If the proposals are accepted as expected, it will consist of one team from each confederation except Uefa, with the final team taken from the confederation of the host country. Two teams will be seeded based on their Fifa ranking, and then face the winners of two knockout games involving the four unseeded teams, with the prize a place in the World Cup.
The play-off will be played in the World Cup's host country, with November 2025 suggested as a possible date for the 2026 qualifying play-off.