Thursday, February 09, 2017

"Oliver Twist" Uefa to ask for more slots for 2026 World Cup

Uefa President Akeksander Ceferin revealed on Thursday that Europe will formally ask World Football governing body FIFA for at least 16 places in the expanded 48-team World Cup lineup.

Ceferin, speaking after the UEFA executive committee meeting, said: "We think it's realistic to ask for 16 slots plus another condition that each European [team] is in a different group.

"I think all 16 can qualify for the second round."

Percentage-wise, 16 of 48 teams would be a decrease from UEFA's 13 spots -- over 40 percent -- under the current 32-team World Cup format.

With hosts Russia, Europe will have 14 teams at the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA decided to add 16 teams to the 2026 tournament two teams advancing into the knockout round from each three-nation group

And they plan to confirm continental entry quotas for the 2026 World Cup at meetings in Bahrain in May.

If UEFA's requests are accepted by FIFA, it will ensure no all-European matches in the 12-day group stage at the 2026 tournament.

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