OFFICIAL: FIFA announce allocation for new 48-team World Cup format in 2026

The Bureau of the FIFA Council – comprised of the FIFA President and the presidents of each of the six confederations – convened this Thursday at the Home of FIFA in Zurich and agreed on a proposed slot allocation for the FIFA World Cup™ as of the 2026 edition.

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.

After 10 January, when the FIFA Council unanimously decided on expanding the FIFA World Cup to a 48-team competition, FIFA, the confederations and the member associations engaged in a consultation process, which resulted in the proposal recommended by the Bureau of the Council. According to this proposal, the split of direct berths is as follows:

Slot allocation*

AFC: 8 direct slots

CAF: 9 direct slots

CONCACAF: 6 direct slots

CONMEBOL: 6 direct slots

OFC: 1 direct slot

UEFA: 16 direct slots

The host country would also automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup, and its slot would be taken from the quota of its confederation. In the event of co-hosting, the number of host countries to qualify automatically would be decided by the FIFA Council.

Play-off tournament for two remaining slots

The above allocation accounts for 46 of the 48 participating teams. The proposal reviewed by the Bureau of the Council includes a play-off tournament involving six teams to decide the last two FIFA World Cup berths:

One team per confederation with the exception of UEFA + one additional team from the confederation of the host country;

Two teams to be seeded based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The seeded teams will play for a FIFA World Cup berth against the winners of the first two knockout games involving the four unseeded teams;

Tournament to be played in the host country(ies) and to be used as a test event for the FIFA World Cup;

Existing play-off window of November 2025 suggested as tentative date for the 2026 edition.



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