Asian Soccer Confederation Reworks Qualifying Format for 48-Workforce FIFA World Cup in 2026

Asian Soccer Confederation Reworks Qualifying Format for 48-Workforce FIFA World Cup in 2026

The Asian Soccer Confederation has confirmed a brand new qualifying format to consider its expanded variety of direct entries for a 48-team World Cup in 2026.
The governing physique for soccer in Asia issued a press release on Monday saying a four-round qualifying system has been designed in preparation for the eight direct spots and single intercontinental playoff slot allotted to the AFC following the growth of the World Cup.
Underneath the brand new system, the groups ranked twenty sixth to forty seventh in Asia will take part within the first spherical of qualifying, with 11 groups advancing to hitch the highest 25 in a second-round home-and-away sequence comprising 9 teams.
The highest two groups in every of these teams will progress to the third spherical, which will probably be divided into three teams of six competing in round-robin format.
The primary and second groups in every of these teams will get direct entries for the 2026 World Cup in america, Canada and Mexico.
The third- and fourth-place groups will go right into a playoff spherical that will probably be divided into two teams of three. The winners of these teams will safe spots on the World Cup; the runners-up will go right into a playoff for Asia’s spot in an intercontinental playoff for a last-ditch likelihood at qualifying.
Asia had 4 direct entries for the 2022 World Cup which kicks off Nov. 21, with the first- and second-place groups — Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan — in two six-team teams from the third spherical of qualifying getting computerized spots for Qatar.
The 2 third-place groups met for the fitting to play off in opposition to the fifth-place South American staff for an additional World Cup slot. Australia beat United Arab Emirates within the Asian playoff, after which beat Peru in an intercontinental playoff to safe the thirty first of 32 spots on the World Cup in Qatar.

The AFC stated the qualifying format for the 2026 World Cup, and for the 2027 Asian Cup, was primarily based on the entry of all 47 member associations “and is topic to vary relying on the ultimate variety of entries.”
The AFC additionally plans to maneuver the timing of its flagship continental membership match, the Asian Champions League, to start out with a preliminary stage in August of subsequent yr and conclude with a closing in Could, 2024.
The chief board additionally accepted the advice to get rid of the away objectives rule because the tiebreaker for groups ending equal on competitors factors. As an alternative, further time and, if essential, penalty shootouts will probably be used to find out the winner of video games within the home-and-away season.
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