2026 World Cup: Africa to get nine direct slots

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[FIFA]–Football’s world governing body has revealed its plans for how the proposed 48 slot for 2026 world cup will be allocated, with 9 direct slot going to Africa.

The proposals which was approved by FIFA’s President, Gianni Infantino and his counterparts at the six confederations, are expected to be ratified by the FIFA Council on May 9 in Manama, Bahrain prior to its 67th congress.

FIFA members voted in January to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams.

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)

The remaining two slot will be battled out in an extended tournament.
All six confederations will have at least one team in the expanded tournament, with no inter-confederation play-offs prior to the play-off tournament.

Two teams will be seeded based on their FIFA ranking.

They will 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.

The World Cup hosts will still qualify automatically, with their slot taken from their confederation’s quota.

Should the proposals be ratified, 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.

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