February 23 – The regional fight for more slots in an expanded World Cup from 2026 is already under way with Africa stating it is looking for 10 places, double its current quota.
When Gianni Infantino announced expansion to 48 teams, it was widely reported that Africa would get nine, up from its current five, but they are apparently seeking even more than that.
“All associations back the idea to expand the World Cup and there is hope that Africa can have 10 places,” said South African FA chief Danny Jordaan.
Europe is asking for a minimum of eight places, up from 13, and wants its teams separated in the opening group stage. Asia are expected to get eight or nine places, compared to 4.5 now, and South America, which has 10 member countries, a total of six, also up from 4.5.
The CONCACAF region, made up of the Caribbean, Central and North American countries, would get 6.5 places, compared to 3.5.
The subject of the expanded World Cup featured prominently at a three-day summit between Infantino and more than 50 presidents of the African FAs.
The talks in Johannesburg were behind closed doors but gave Infantino the opportunity to express his support for the man challenging Issa Hayatou for the Confederation of African Football presidency, Ahmad Ahmad.
“It has been a very good idea and a chance for the associations to also speak directly to the FIFA leadership about their issues and concerns,” said Ahmad, the president of the Madagascar Football Federation, after the summit which came three weeks before the CAF elections in Addis Ababa on March 16 and was inevitably dominated by fierce lobbying.
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