The member teams of conmebol will have six and a half places for the World Cup 2026organized between Mexico, Canada and the United States, confirmed the FIFA after the completion of Qatar 2022.
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With the distribution of places defined by the highest soccer body, the South American body will have the same quotas as Concacaf, while UEFA will have 16 representatives, Africa 9.5, Asia 8.5 and Oceania only one.
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As of Korea – Japan 2002, the World Cup champions no longer have the sporting advantage of direct classification to the next edition. This means that the ‘Albiceleste’ must earn the right to play the 2026 World Cup like all the other Conmebol member teams.
The next World Cup looks big: after an edition in 2022 concentrated in the middle of the calendar and in a single city, Doha, the event in 2026 will be held throughout the North American continent, between Mexico, Canada and the United States, with the participation for the first time of 48 teams.
With the 22nd World Cup edition ending this Sunday, the 23rd will begin in just three and a half years and almost a third of the countries affiliated with FIFA will participate in it, after three decades of a tournament played with a 32-team format.
The number of participating countries in the largest soccer tournament has varied and expanded over time: from the 13 teams in the first edition in 1930, to 16 until 1978, expanded to 24 until 1994 and 32 since that edition.
This change concretizes the first major reform of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, adopted in 2017, although it is threatened by the logistical challenges of staging 100 matches instead of the usual 64 since 1998.
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