FIFA Proposes CONMEBOL and CONCACAF Qualification Merge

January 9, 2017

A senior South American footballing official has revealed plans to merge the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) World Cup qualifying processes.

Laureano Gonzalez, president of the Venezuelan Football Federation and CONMEBOL vice-president, has revealed a proposal from FIFA president Gianni Infantino to merge the two qualifying tournaments as a way of increasing number of teams competing in World Cup tournaments.

Gonzalez has stated that support for the idea would be forthcoming if the two regions were granted 14 qualifying spots combined – double the current number of guaranteed finals places.

The FIFA Council will vote tomorrow on the prospect of increasing the 2026 World Cup to either 40 or 48 teams. American nations including USA, Canada and Mexico have been strongly linked with hosting the event.

The proposed expansion of the World Cup follows a similar decision regarding the European Championship, which increased from 16 teams to 24 for the 2016 edition.