Now that FIFA has decided to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, the argument now is to decide how those 16 places are distributed to each confederation. Everybody wants the biggest slice of the pie they can get and Africa is surely ambitious in what they want.
The head of South Africa’s FA revealed that he hopes the Confederation of African Football receives 10 places in the new 48 team World Cup. This would double their total in the 32 team format and leave them with 21% of the places instead of 16%.
A couple weeks ago, UEFA said that they wanted 16 places (up from 13). If Africa were to receive 10 places, it would set them further apart from Asia and South America (who receive 4.5 places each).
Entertaining the possibility of Africa receiving 10 World Cup places, that would mean all ten countries who advanced from the second round of World Cup Qualification would qualify for the World Cup instead of half. This meant that if the 2014 World Cup had 48 teams and Africa had 10 teams in the tournament, Burkina Faso, Egypt (managed by Bob Bradley in 2014), Ethiopia, Senegal and Tunisia would have joined Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Taking FIFA Ranking into consideration, Ethiopia at 95 would have been the only red flag among the new qualifiers. The other four range between 47th and 63rd so that falls in line with some of the lower ranked teams who made it into the 32 team 2014 World Cup.
So while it would seem that some people in the CAF is taking something when they’re asking for 10 places, it isn’t that far fetched. Africa is a continent, along with Asia, who probably deserves more positions than anyone. Besides, considering the World Cup is almost certain to be watered down, it’s going to be more watered down in other confederations *cough* CONCACAF and Oceania *cough* than Africa.