Africa to be represented by 10 qualifying teams at the 2026 World Cup
FIFA have announced that the 2026 World cup will take place in Canada, Mexico and the USA with an increased African participation of nine to ten teams in a new 48-team format. Africa was represented by five teams at the last world cup in Qatar last year with the Super Eagles missing out in the huge football feast in the desert.
As the preparation for the 2026 World Cup takes centre place, the Super Eagles as well as other teams in Africa will play as many as 10 matches home and away to secure a place at the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The new World Cup Format can be seen represented below;
Europe will now have 16 teams from 13, Asia will have eight, South America six, Central and North America six and Oceania will have one. Other highlights of the new World Cup include –
· 104 matches will be played
· 48 teams
· 12 groups of four teams
· Top 2 teams in each group plus 8 best third-placed sides advance.
Africa could have as many as 10 teams competing at the mundial in 2026 after the allocation for places at the expanded 48-nation competition was ratified by the FIFA Council during their meeting in Bahrain.
Africa is guaranteed nine places, up from the current five, while a 10th nation will enter a six-team play-off tournament to decide the final two qualifiers, raising the potential of an extra place for the continent.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had been lobbying for at least 10 spots, with the continent providing 54 of FIFA’s 211 member associations, a little more than a quarter. https://www.fifa.com/
It appears as though a compromise has been reached, though it remains an uneven split compared to the more favoured confederations such as Europe and South America. The latter has only 10 member associations, but is guaranteed that six of those will be at the tournament, with the potential for a seventh through the play-off tournament. It means that 70% of the South American nations could compete.
Morocco Made history in Qatar by becoming the first Africa representatives to reach the semi-finals in the FIFA World Cup 2022.
The CAF executive committee met in Algiers on Thursday to decide on the format and timing of the qualifiers.
Top journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana, Who was in Algiers to cover the CAF executive meeting reported that there will now be nine groups of six teams each, with the overall group winners advancing automatically to the next World Cup.