Report: FIFA proposes merged 2026 World Cup qualifying for Americas

Photo of Report: FIFA proposes merged 2026 World Cup qualifying for Americas

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has reportedly proposed a merged 2026 World Cup qualifying process for teams in CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, according to CONMEBOL vice-president Laureano Gonzalez.

On Tuesday, the FIFA Council will vote on a proposed increase of the number of teams at the World Cup finals. The current tally stands at 32 sides but could increase to either 40 or 48 for the 2026 affair.

The council will not yet decide which regions would receive an increase of qualifying spots.

Reuters reports that Gonzalez would consider the proposal between the two regions - where CONCACAF represents North and Central America as well as the Caribbean, and CONMEBOL serves South America - only if FIFA offers at least 14 spaces in the World Cup finals.

"There is a suggestion from Gianni Infantino to unify the CONMEBOL and CONCACAF qualifiers," Gonzalez told the Venezuelan sports daily Meridiano, as quoted by Reuters.

"This would have support if they gave us more places. At the moment, we have seven between the two confederations, plus two half places.

"If this went up to 14, similar to what Europe has for more or less the same number of teams, the idea would catch on the continent."

The two regions recently collaborated during the 2016 Copa America Centenario, which was held in the United States and featured a few teams from CONCACAF as well as the full slate of CONMEBOL sides.

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