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Sat 1 Apr 2017 12:46 AM

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Bahrain's Sheikh Salman hails World Cup allocation increase

Asian football chief applauds move to double Asia's allocation from four spots to eight from 2026

Bahrain's Sheikh Salman hails World Cup allocation increase
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation. (NEZAR BALOUT/AFP/Getty Images)

Asian football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has hailed the continent's proposed allocation for the expanded 48-team 2026 World Cup.

FIFA recommendations released on Thursday revealed that Asia will see its allocation doubled from a guaranteed four spots to eight.

Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman said the allocation was "a fair distribution".

All regions will see an increase in their allocation for the 2026 finals while there will also be a six team play-off to decide the final two spots, meaning the possibility of Asia getting a ninth team qualified.

In a statement on the AFC website, Sheikh Salman said the increased allocation would "aid development of the game in Asia".

According to the FIFA recommendations Europe will get 16 places, up from 13, Africa's allocation will increase from five to nine, South America's up from four or five to six, North and Central America's up to six from three or four and Oceania guaranteed one berth instead of merely a play-off match.

The recommendations should be approved at the FIFA Council meeting in Bahrain in May.

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