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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018

Ireland's chances of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup will improve if Uefa get their way

European football’s governing body will ask for 16 places at the tournament.

Uefa boss Aleksander Ceferin is looking for a more European teams at the 2026 World Cup.
Uefa boss Aleksander Ceferin is looking for a more European teams at the 2026 World Cup.
Image: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP/Press Association Images

WE STILL DON’T know what country will host the 2026 World Cup, but we do know it will be the biggest ever with 48 teams taking part.

And today Uefa has set its sights on taking 33% of the places at the tournament.

European football’s governing body will ask Fifa for 16 places and that European teams kept apart during the group stages.

The new-look tournament is set to feature an initial stage with 16 groups of three teams, with two qualifying for the knockout stages from each group.

While Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has said the requests are “realistic,” it remains to be seen if the bid will be successful as Fifa president Gianni Infantino is on record as saying the idea of an expanded tournament is to promote the growth of the game around the world.


“Football is more than just Europe and South America, football is global.”

Ceferin was speaking at a meeting of the Uefa executive committee in Switzerland. All members of the committee agreed with the proposals.

Canada, the USA and Mexico are among the front runners to host the tournament.

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Steve O'Rourke

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