World cup: Africa set to get 10 slots at 2026 World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is set to take a new form with 48 countries instead of the 32 countries as seen at the just-ended World Cup in Qatar.

This change has presented Africa with an increased number of slots. This was also made possible by the advancement of the Atlas Lions (Morocco) to the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Europe (UEFA) will have 16 direct slots
  • Africa (CAF) will have 9 direct slots
  • Asia (AFC) will have 8 slots
  • CONCACAF will have 6 direct slots
  • South America (CONMEBOL) will have 6 direct slots and
  • Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) will have 1 direct slot. This means there shall be 46 direct slots in total.

For the remaining two(2) slots, FIFA shall organize an international playoff in the host nation(s) involving a total of 6 teams gotten as follows: Africa shall provide 1 team, CONCACAF shall provide 2, CONMEBOL shall provide 1, Asia shall provide 1 and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) shall provide 1. Note here that the confederation that hosts the event shall always be given 1 extra place in the playoffs, reason why CONCACAF has two playoff representatives above for the 2026 edition.

Among the 6 playoff teams, the top two according to FIFA ranking shall be seeded. The other 4 shall be paired and the 2 winners shall face the two seeded teams.

The two winners of the two ties shall then be given the last two tickets to the World Cup to complete the list of 48 participants.

Summarily, Africa has 9 guaranteed places and we can have 10 African teams in the 2026 edition if the African playoff representative emerges victorious in the international playoffs.

Source: Ade Divine

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