CONMEBOL is one of the toughest zones to compete for a ticket to a World Cup. Now, the format has changed for the next edition as the 2026 tournament will have 48 national teams participating. Despite this change, the South Americans are trying to keep the challenges in their zone with a controversial petition to the organization that could change all of their plans.
Since Gianni Infantino started as president of FIFA he was clear that he wanted to change some things, including the World Cup. His plans were successful as the organization decided to go from a 32-team format to one with 48 national squads, beginning in 2026.
But this controversial move was not well received by some people. Soccer fans are worried that this change could affect the competitiveness in the Qualifiers. But now CONMEBOL has made a petition to FIFA in order to keep this aspect safe and still have the new 48-team format in 2026.
CONMEBOL wants to keep the same Qualifiers' format for the 2026 FIFA World Cup
With more teams to play in the 2026 FIFA World Cup, competitiveness could decrease, but CONMEBOL has a plan to stop this from happening. The South American Confederation asked FIFA to keep the same format they have used as today for the next tournament.
CONMEBOL's Council had a reunion this August 22 to discuss the Qualifiers format for the 2026 World Cup. The petition was clear: to avoid any modifications and keep the home and away matches as they are.
Despite this petition, it is not clear if FIFA will agree. As today, in CONMEBOL there are 10 national teams that compete for four and a half tickets for the World Cup. In 2026, this number will change as two more teams will have the opportunity to advance (6.5 spots).
FIFA is studying new formats for each Confederation as more matches would be played in the Qualifiers. The organization has to think also in the domestic leagues, as they will probably suffer some changes in their schedule thanks to those movements.