Socceros boosts World Cup with announcement of 2026 qualification path

Australia’s mission to qualify for the Football World Cup every four years became a little easier as FIFA announced additional qualification places for the Asian Football Confederation.

With the World Cup 2026 in the United States, Canada and Mexico scheduled to be a 48-team tournament – ​​from the traditional 32 nations – the AFC is set to be awarded eight direct qualification positions for football’s showpiece event.

The Socceroos have reached five consecutive World Cups, but on three occasions – 2006, 2018 and 2022 – Green and Gold have been forced to qualify via the cut-throat Intercontinental Playoff route, with the likes of Peru, Honduras. There is a need to win against. and Uruguay to arrive at the main event.

In the last two AFC qualifying campaigns, Australia has finished as the fifth-best team in the region, meaning Soccros would be confident of finishing as part of the top eight nations in Asia to reach the World Cup 2026. .

There is also the possibility of a ninth-place finish for the AFC through an intercontinental playoff with another association.

The new AFC qualifying format will see Australia enter the second qualifying stage as part of the 36 nations, playing nine groups of four in a round-robin format to see the progress of the top two teams.

The eighteen nations that qualify from stage two will be placed in three groups of six, with the top two teams in each group progressing directly to the World Cup.

The remaining two direct qualifying spots will be obtained from the third and fourth ranked countries in each group, which will be divided into two groups of three, with the group winners booking their tickets to the big one.

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The runner-up in this stage would be a playoff for the right to play a nation from a different federation for a possible ninth place.

Where is the World Cup 2026?

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be played in three North American countries: the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Of the 80 games played in the tournament, 60 will be played in the USA, with 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico.

The United States and Mexico have both hosted the first men’s World Cup, with Mexico becoming the first country to host three men’s tournaments (1970, 1986 and 2026).

After hosting in 1994, the United States would soon join the list of countries to host several men’s World Cups, along with Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France and Germany.

Canada has hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup (2015) and the FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Cup (2007), making it feel welcome to the world again on the occasion of a senior men’s tournament.

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fifa world cup 2026 host city

Specific locations and cities to host the matches were announced by FIFA at an event in New York City on June 16, 2022, and were broadcast live around the world. A total of 16 venues were selected by FIFA in the 23 cities selected by United to bid for the 2026 World Cup matches.

Host venues will be spread across three countries, with 11 locations in the United States, three in Mexico, and two in Canada.

Two stadiums, the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, have previously hosted World Cup finals. As it stands, Estadio Azteca is one of only two venues in the world to have hosted two men’s World Cup finals, along with Maracan in Brazil.

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Fixed venue to host 2026 World Cup matches

market State Country place ability
Mexico City Mexico estadio azteca 87,523
New York City NY / NJ America MetLife Stadium 82,500
Dallas Texas America AT&T Stadium 80,000
Kansas City KS America Arrowhead Stadium 76,416
houston Texas America NRG Stadium 71,795
atlanta Sing America Mercedes-Benz Stadium 71,000
Los Angeles CA America Sophie Stadium 70,240
philadelphia the countryside America Lincoln Financial Sector 69,176
Seattle or America lumen field 69,000
San Francisco CA America Levi’s Stadium 68,500
Boston M.A. America Gillette Stadium 65,878
miami Florida America Hard Rock Stadium 64,767
vancouver B.C Canada BC Place 54,000
monterrey nl Mexico Estadio BBVA 53,500
Guadalajara JAL Mexico estadio akron 46,232
Toronto Feather Canada BMO Field 45,500*

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How many teams in world cup 2026?

FIFA announced back in 2017 that the 2026 World Cup in France would be the first to feature an expanded format from the 32-team format used since the 1998 edition.

The tournament ground will be increased by 50 percent to a 48-nation tournament. This will see an additional 16 teams participate in the event, which will increase global interest as well as more games throughout the tournament.

However, FIFA confirmed that the new format would not increase the maximum number of games played by any team, with a limit of seven matches for each finalist.

The new format for the 2026 World Cup will have 16 groups of three teams each in the group stage. The top two teams in each group would then advance to an expanded 32-team knockout stage causing chaos and intrigue.

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