Asia FIFA World Cup

AFC quotas to double in FIFA’s proposal for World Cup 2026

By Niloufar Momeni

Asian Confederation’s quotas for qualification to the 2026 FIFA World Cup is expected to triple in a detailed proposal announced by FIFA.

“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”, the governing body said in an announcement

Earlier in January, Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president, announced its proposed expansion of the number of World Cup teams from the current 32-teams to 48 at World Cup 2026. The expansion proposal was unanimously approved by members of the football governing body.

According to further details just announced today by Infantino, Europe’s quota will increase by three places to 16, while Asia would get 8 places, Africa nine, South America six, North and Central America and the Caribbean six,  and Oceania one. The host country will still qualify automatically, with their place being taken from the quota of their confederation.

In the new format, a six-nation playoff could be used to determine the last two spots. The format of World Cup 2026, is also set to feature 16 groups of three teams.

If the quota proposals to be ratified by FIFA Council, Asian and African members will see the biggest increase in their number of World Cup quotas, compare to their other continental counterparts.

Also, if approved, the number of participating teams from each continent in a 48-team World Cup Tournament will shape a majority European teams, followed by African teams, and Asian teams, with South American and North American teams sharing a rather small but equal share of the pie.