March 30, 2017

World Cup 2026: Fifa reveals allocation for 48-team tournament: Asia doubles count, Africa nearly does, CONMEBOL gets six places (out of 10 nations), CONCACAF also six (no more Hex?), Oceania gets a full spot, UEFA goes from 13 to 16 and there would be a new six nation playoff for the 48th spot.

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 01:02 PM - 12 comments

Playoff would be one team per region except UEFA and played in the November 2025.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:03 PM on March 30

IMO: 48 teams is beyond absurd.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:03 PM on March 30

Way too many teams getting in - waters down the competition considerably. The Euros should have stayed at 16 teams too.

posted by sbacharach at 03:07 PM on March 30

CONCACAF also six (no more Hex?)

I assume CONCACAF will go to a double Hex with 3 teams through from each. Of course that means that USA-Mexico WCQs will no longer happen...

posted by bender at 03:55 PM on March 30

I would have preferred 40 teams, but in five-team groups. Would have extended the tournament only a few days but would have prevented losing the first match from being nearly a death sentence.

I'm glad Oceania finally gets a full spot. If South America can have 6, I would like to see Oceania get two ... but I realize it would require getting a number of countries to move from the more lucrative AFC.

Let's see if UEFA will keep it simple and go with 8 groups (current format: 9 groups). As for CONCACAF, 6 teams gives the mid-level sides a major chance to sneak in. Take the fourth round, turn it into two six-team groups, and maybe Canada or Guatemala steals positions.

posted by jjzucal at 07:00 PM on March 30

Well that makes it a bit easier for Australia each time, but does take the edge off the tension in the qualifying rounds.

New Zealand will take Oceania's spot on a regular basis, but presumably they have to go through the 6 team playoff. This will be more difficult that the one-off home and away they have at the moment against one of the bigger confederations. They won't be that happy.

posted by owlhouse at 08:24 PM on March 30

New Zealand would go straight through. It's likely the loser of the OFC final would go into the playoffs along with COMEBOL 7th place and CONCACAF 4th-place playoff winner (if 2 groups) also should be in the mix.

posted by jjzucal at 09:44 PM on March 30

I'd rather have a bigger field than see a World Cup take place without the U.S. in it.

I hate qualifying drama. I love World Cup drama.

posted by rcade at 10:26 PM on March 30

OK, my Kiwi friends are now much happier.

You have to explain things slowly to them.

posted by owlhouse at 06:31 AM on March 31

Canada's still probably not going to make the World Cup again, right?

*sigh*

posted by grum@work at 11:52 AM on March 31

Depends, I saw a rumor somewhere about a three country North America WC host. US and Mexico "should" each be able to get one of the 6 CONCACAF place. This leaves the host spot for Canada.

posted by prof at 03:52 PM on March 31

There's also the six country playoff route, if Canada just miss out on the six.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:44 PM on April 01

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