by Azeez Adeniyi
The FIFA Council during its meeting in Bahrain has confirmed that Africa could have as many as 10 teams at the 2026 World Cup after the allocation for places at the expanded 48-nation competition, ESPN reports.
Africa is guaranteed nine places, up from the current five, while a 10th nation will enter a six-team play-off tournament to decide the final two qualifiers.
South America has 10 member associations and guaranteed that six of those will be at the tournament, with the potential for a seventh through the play-off tournament.
Europe has seen their number of guaranteed slots raised from 13 to 16, while the North and Central American confederation has also seen their number of teams doubled from a guaranteed three to six, while Asia goes up from four to eight. Oceania will now have one guaranteed place, having previously had to go through a play-off with a team from South America.
The most teams that Africa has previously had at the World Cup was six in 2010 when South Africa (hosts), Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast competed.