News ID: 323252
Published: 1027 GMT August 01, 2022

Asia granted 8+1 slots for 2026 World Cup

Asia granted 8+1 slots for 2026 World Cup

Sports Desk

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced a new format for the 2026 World Cup Asian qualifiers, which will see 8+1 teams finding the chance to represent the continent at the flagship international event of the sport.

The announcement comes after the world football governing body, FIFA, decided to increase the number of teams in the World Cup finals to 48.

All 47 member states will participate at the qualifiers, with the teams ranked 26 to 47 squaring off in a home and away knockout format to decide the 11 slots in the second round of the preliminary round.

The stage will see 36 teams divided into nine groups, where the top two of each head into the main round of the Asian qualifiers – comprising three six-team groups.

The top two of each three groups will be handed direct qualification for the final showdown in the United States, Mexico, and Canada – while the third and fourth teams – six in total – being given a second chance in two Asian playoff groups.

The two group winners will qualify for the World Cup, with the second-placed teams competing for a slot in the Intercontinental playoff.

 

   
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