Ireland handed World Cup qualifying boost as Europe to get three extra places from 2026
It will be a little easier for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to qualify for the football World Cup from 2026 onwards following the news that Europe is to get three extra places at the summer celebration.
FIFA announced today that Europe’s finalists at the World Cup will rise to 16 teams from the current 13 for the 2026 tournament. That would allow UEFA to have eight groups with the top two teams qualifying each time.
An interesting proposal from the FIFA Executive for eight years’ time is that the last two places at the Finals would be won from a mini-tournament to be played in November at the end of worldwide qualifying.
However, Europe would only be in this tournament when a European nation is hosting the World Cup.