FIFA president Gianni Infantino has vowed to keep to his campaign promise to increase Africa’s World Cup finals berths to nine or ten from five.
Infantino made this known during a visit to the impoverished West African state of Mauritania this week.
He said at a press conference: “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.”
Recall that during last year’s FIFA elections, Infantino had promised African federation chiefs that if elected he would increase the continent’s World Cup berths in a new look competition, featuring 48 nations rather that the current format of 32.
He said: “Of the 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 World Cup nine or ten will be African. We’ll be working on that.”
The expansion of the World Cup, passed by the FIFA Council in January, comes into effect for the 2026 tournament.
The expansion will feature 16 first-round groups from which winners and runners-up qualify for the knockout phase.