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FIFA reveals proposed slots for 48-team 2026 World Cup

ZURICH: World soccer’s ruling body FIFA announced its proposed slot allocation for the expanded 48-team World Cup on Thursday, 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. The proposals will be submitted to the FIFA Council at its next full meeting in Bahrain in May for a final decision, FIFA said. Under the proposal, made by the FIFA Bureau, for the enlarged tournament beginning in 2026, Europe would get 16 direct places,…

FIFA approves 48 team World Cup for 2026, says official

ZURICH: FIFA's ruling council on Tuesday unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, with a format of 16 groups of three nations. "The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026: 16 groups of 3 teams," a tweet from FIFA's official account said. The decision marks a major coup for the body's president Gianni Infantino who has made enlarging football's showcase event the centrepiece of his young administration. The controversial proposal has faced criticism from some…

Infantino says 32, 40 and 48-team World Cups on the table

ZURICH: FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that proposals for a 32, 40 or 48-team World Cup in 2026 were still on the table and that a larger tournament would not mean a drop in quality. He also stood by his own idea, first mooted last week, for a 48-team tournament, starting with a playoff round featuring 32 teams in which the 16 losers would go straight home after a single game. A document presented to the FIFA Council, and seen by Reuters, offered 10 different possible formats, for varying numbers of…

FIFA president suggests a 48-team World Cup

ZURICH: FIFA president Gianni Infantino, whose election promises included expanding the World Cup to 40 teams, proposed an even larger tournament with 48 teams on Monday. However, he suggested that 16 of those teams would go home after just one knockout match, and the remainder of the tournament would be played, as now, with a 32-team group stage, followed by a knockout phase. Infantino, speaking during an event at Bogota's Sergio Arboleda university, said a final decision would be taken by the FIFA Council in January,…