The President of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, has said Africa will have at least seven representatives when the World Cup expansion to 48 teams kicks off in 2026.
The proposed new format of the global competition will see an initial stage of 16 groups of three teams, from which two teams will qualify to the knockout round of 32, as number of games will also increase from 64 to 80.
Infantino, who said this at a press conference in Accra, Ghana on Monday during his visit to the West African nation, said the number is however dependent on agreement with the FIFA council.
“Africa will have seven or more countries in the FIFA World Cup due to the FIFA Council’s confirmation of 48 countries which will participate in the tournament,” Infantino said.
Read Also: Africa wants 10 spots in 48-team W’Cup
This comes after leaders of African football have asked the world football governing body to double the continent’s current allocation of five places ahead of the 2026 games.
“All associations back the idea to expand the World Cup and there is the hope that Africa can have 10 places in future,” South African FA chief Danny Jordaan hinted last Wednesday.
Whereas earlier this month, the Union of European football Associations (UEFA) had said it will ask to be given 16 places at the 2026 tournament.
But at the time of the announcement of the unanimous endorsement of the expansion proposal, Infantino said the decision on who would get the extra qualification slots would be “looked at speedily. The only sure thing is that everyone will have a bit more representation than they have.”
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