FIFA president Gianni Infantino is visiting the impoverished West African state of Mauritania this week, he finally came through on his promise to increase Africa’s berths from five to nine or ten.
Prior to his election, Africa gets five World Cup berths but Infantino promised African federation chiefs that if elected he would increase the continent’s meagre five World Cup berths in a new look competition featuring 48 nations rather that the current format of 32.
“We want everyone to have the right to dream and how better to do that that taking part in a major event such as a World Cup,” Infantino said in a press conference.
The Infantino proposal will feature 16 first-round groups from which winners and runners-up qualify for the knockout phase.
“Of the 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 World Cup nine or ten will be African. We’ll be working on that,” the Swiss head of world football promised.
The expansion of the World Cup, passed by the FIFA Council in January, comes into effect for the 2026 tournament.