Fifa has released its plan for a six-nation qualifying tournament to determine the last two places out of 48 teams for the 2026 World Cup.
One team form each of the six confederations, except UEFA, will make up the teams, with the sixth team taken from the host country’s confederation.
The two highest-ranked teams in this six-nation tournament would be seeded and play the winners of the of the two knock-out games between the four unseeded countries.
The final playoff game will be held in November 2025 in the host country and also act as a test for the World Cup.
The proposal requires ratification by the Fifa Council, which should take place on May 9, already having been agreed by Gianni Infantino, Fifa president, and the heads of the six continental confederations.
The expansion from 32 to 48 nations was officially approved in Zurich in January by the FIFA Council.
In the new format, 48 teams will compete in 16 groups of three, with the top two teams making it into a knock-out round of 32 teams.
Also finalised by Fifa is the confederation split for the final berths at the World Cup. Each confederation will have at least one country representing it, while the head of UEFA (Europe), Aleksander Ceferin, has succeeded in his demand for 16 places.
Africa was hoping for 10 places, but has been allocated 9.
The final breakdown is: Africa – 9 (up from 5), Asia – 8 (up from 4 or 5), Europe – 16 (up from 13), North, Central America and Caribbean – 6 (up from 3 or 4), Oceania – 1 (from 0 or 1), South America – 6 (up from 4 or 5).
Hosts of the tournament will automatically qualify and their spot will count as one of their confederations quota of places.