2026 World Cup Qualifying: Road to the Finals

Qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup has begun, with nations from around the world vying for a chance to compete in the prestigious tournament. Here is a breakdown of how different confederations are progressing in their qualifying campaigns:

Europe (UEFA):
– 12 automatic qualifiers + 4 through playoffs
– 55 nations competing, with Russia suspended
– Qualifying matches to run from March to November 2025
– Confedration playoffs in March 2026

South America (CONMEBOL):
– 6 automatic qualifiers + 1 through playoffs
– All 10 nations play each other home and away

North America, Central America, Caribbean (Concacaf):
– 3 automatic qualifiers + 2 through playoffs
– 32 nations competing, with three spots reserved for hosts

Africa (CAF):
– 9 automatic qualifiers + 1 through playoffs
– 53 teams competing in group stages

Asia (AFC):
– 8 automatic qualifiers + 1 through playoffs
– Complex qualifying process with multiple stages

Oceania (OFC):
– 1 automatic qualifier + 1 through playoffs
– 11 nations competing in knockout format

Intercontinental playoffs:
– Two spots up for grabs
– Six countries competing, one from each confederation (excluding UEFA)
– Playoffs to be held in March 2026

As qualifying matches progress, the football world eagerly awaits to see which nations will secure their place in the 2026 World Cup finals. Stay tuned for more updates on the road to the tournament.