FIFA Considers 9 Automatic African World Cup Spots For 2026
World soccer governing body FIFA has proposed that Africa receive nine automatic qualification spots when the World Cup expands to 48 teams at the 2026 competition.
The proposal would see four extra places for the continent, as Africa is currently offered five automatic qualifying berths.
In addition to the nine places, a tenth African country will be able to take part in a six-nation play-off tournament between all of the global continental confederations to decide two additional spots.
The Swiss-based organisation has revealed its plans for how all 48 places will be allocated, with 16 Europeans teams set to qualify, alongside eight Asian, six South American, six Central and North America, and one guaranteed spots from Oceania, made up of island nations such as New Zealand.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council, comprised of the FIFA President and the president of each of the six confederations, agreed on (the) proposed allocation,” said a FIFA statement via their official website.
The recommendations will be voted on by the Fifa Council at its next meeting on May 9.
Africa has been pushing for 10 qualification berths since new president Gianni Infantino revealed his plans for World Cup expansion, but nine spots will likely please members of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
FIFA members voted in January to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, starting with the 2026 edition, so the 2018 competition in Russia, and the 2022 tournament in Qatar will still be disputed by 32 teams.
Proposed World Cup qualification allocation from 2026…
Asia: 8 direct slots – increased from 4.5 (currently 46 members)
Africa: 9 direct slots – increased from 5 (currently 54 members)
North and central America: 6 direct slots – increased from 3.5 (currently 34 members)
South America: 6 direct slots – increased from 4.5 (currently 10 members)
Oceania: 1 direct slot – increased from 0.5 (currently 11 members)
Europe: 16 direct slots – increased from 13 (currently 55 members)
An additional two places in 2026 decided by a six-team play-off competition