FIFA reveal proposed breakdown of slots for 48-team World Cup

The Oceania Football Confederation will receive an automatic slot, with the winners of their qualification event now having to play-off against a side from another region in order to secure a World Cup place.

"In the event of co-hosting, the number of host countries to qualify automatically would be decided by the FIFA Council", a FIFA statement read.

All football regions will see their World Cup slots increased when the tournament expands to 48 teams in 2026, with Africa the biggest victor, according to FIFA recommendations released today.

The unseeded teams will be involved in a two-match first round, with the two winners from that then facing a seeded team each for a World Cup berth. It also increases Africa to nine, Asia to eight, South America to six, North America to six and Oceania to one.

The above list compiles to a total of 46 with the remaining two spots being decided by a play-off tournament comprised of six teams which is to be played in the host country.

The future looks all right for the All Whites after Federation Internationale de Football Association announced its proposed slot allocation for the expanded 48-team World Cup, including an automatic place for Oceania, 16 places for Europe - up from 13 - and a six-team inter-zonal playoff tournament for two more spots.

They have met UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin's demand for 16 European spots - a third of the number of countries at the tournament - while other Confederations have also been granted increases in their previous allocations.

The current allocation is 13 places to Europe, five to Africa, four to Asia and South America and three to Concacaf.

The Confederations Cup already faced an uncertain future after this year's edition in Russian Federation.

FIFA stated: "The recommendation will now be submitted for the ratification of the FIFA council, whose next meeting is scheduled for 9 May in Manama, Bahrain, two days prior to the 67th FIFA congress".

With the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being played in November and December, a Club World Cup in November 2021 has become the preferred test event.

  • Julie Sanders