Conmebol and FIFA are not close to reaching an agreement. The South American Football Confederation does not want the reform proposed by the international body concerning its qualification system for the 2026 World Cup. It expressed on Tuesday its wish to maintain its current format, namely a single pool of 10 nations that meet back and forth.
The decision was adopted on Monday unanimously by the Council of the governing body of South American football, which met in Santiago. It will be transmitted to FIFA, which wishes to impose a reform in the South American zone.
FIFA wants two separate groups
The latter is thus campaigning for the creation of two groups of five teams. Each of them would have to play back and forth matches against the five teams in the other group. The first two of each group would qualify directly for the World Cup. Third and fourth would compete for a through ticket; the losers of this confrontation would play for a place in the play-offs.
For the 2022 World Cup organized at the end of the year in Qatar, South America directly qualified the first four from a single group (Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay). The fifth (Peru) lost the intercontinental play-off against Australia. For 2026, the tournament going from 32 to 48 teams, six nations will be directly qualified, the 7th competing in a play-off.