FIFA has announced its proposed allocation of places for the 48-team 2026 World Cup – and revealed a six-nation play-off could be used to determine the last two spots.
Football’s world governing body has proposed there will be 16 direct slots for European teams at the expanded tournament, which is the quota UEFA had sought.
The recommendations will be submitted to be approved by the FIFA council in May.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s plan to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 countries was given unanimous backing by the council in January.
The competition, which has had an unchanged format since 1998, is set to feature 16 groups of three teams under the revamp.
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.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin welcomed the FIFA announcement.
He said: “We are satisfied with the proposed slot allocation for the FIFA World Cup as of the 2026 edition, which was agreed today by all confederation presidents, at the bureau of the FIFA council meeting in Zurich.
“We feel that UEFA will be fairly represented with a total of 16 national associations competing in the new format of the World Cup. We look forward to this proposal being ratified by the FIFA council in Bahrain on the 9th of May.”