FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that Africa should be given two more slots at the World Cup Finals.
He argued that Africa deserves two more places at the World Cup finals if the tournament will be expanded to include 40 teams.
The statement was made on Monday in Nigeria.
He reiterated his stance during the FIFA presidential election, stating that he is indeed pushing for the World Cup tournament to broaden to include eight more teams, making it 40. Also adding that he wants Africa in two slots in 2026.
“I believe for the World Cup 2026 — because the 2018 and 2022 finals are already decided — there should be 40 teams… and out of the eight more there should be at least two slots for African teams,” he told reporters.
“This is what I declared during my campaign and as you know I’m not a dictator but a democratically elected FIFA president, so I have to speak to everyone and listen to everyone as well,” he said.
The slots for the next two world cups have already been picked. Since the last increase in 1988, Africa has only had 5 slots at the finals. The only exception was during the 2010 FIFA World Cup which was hosted in South Africa, an extra slot which is always reserved for the host country was added to make it six.
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The slots are a mechanism to make the FIFA world cup more competitive, as these positions are usually filled by high ranking teams.
Currently, Europe has the largest slot, a total of 13, South America has 3 assured spot and 1 playoff, Asia has 4 assured and 1 playoff spot, North America, and the Carribean has 3 assured and 1 playoff spot, Oceania with the lowest has only 1 playoff spot.
If FIFA President Gianni Infantino keeps his promise, by 2026 there would be 7 African nationals at the FIFA World Cup finals.