SPORTS

48 Teams Good For Fiji

Fijian Football Association will take full advantage of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) decision to include 48 teams in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The FIFA Council unanimously
12 Jan 2017 11:00
48 Teams Good For Fiji
Fijian FA president Rajesh Patel.

Fijian Football Association will take full advantage of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) decision to include 48 teams in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA Council unanimously decided to increase the number of teams from 32 to 48 following a thorough analysis, based on a report that included four different format options drawn up by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Fijian FA president Rajesh Patel said the new format was good news, not only for Fiji but for the Oceania region.

“FIFA’s decision to expand the number of teams in the World Cup as of 2026 is a really positive thing for the Oceania region,” Patel said.

“We are planning to take full advantage of this because it could mean we may have a possibility of qualifying for the World Cup.

“The increasing number of teams means that Oceania will get one slot in to the World Cup and that is great news.”

With Fiji national football coach Christophe Gamel already making himself at home, Patel said they will put their trust in Gamel to put together a good team against New Zealand in March for the Oceania Football Confederation title.

“He’s slowly understanding and watching how our boys work and he seems to be pleased,” he said.

“We will leave everything up to Gamel and will not interfere in his selection, he knows what he is doing.

“Our game against New Zealand is an important one and we want to do well and FIFA’s announcement will give, not only us, but every team in the Oceania region the drive they need to play and possibly qualify for the World Cup.”

The 48 teams will see 16 groups of three teams where each nation will play the others in its group once, with the top two progressing to the knockout round comprising of 32 teams.

The number of games will rise from 64 to 80 but the competition will remain at 32 days in length.

The extra 16 slots will be discussed at future FIFA Council meetings.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: