During the 2022 World Cup and Asia 23.. Infantino: Asian football has developed

Written By Mark

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup would be a source of inspiration and a force to unite people across the region, noting the progress made by Asian football and the opportunities provided by FIFA for further development.
The Asian Football Confederation will have a record number of participants in the next edition of the most important football event, thanks to the expansion of the tournament, which has been allocated eight seats with the possibility of obtaining an additional seat through the play-offs between the continental zones.
“These matches will serve as an inspiration to young people from across Asia and provide an additional opportunity to unite through football,” he said in a message to the 18 teams.
He added, “I congratulate the 18 teams for reaching this stage, and I wish them all the best in the next round of this exciting competition.”
He continued: At least eight of you, and perhaps nine, will experience the excitement of participating in the World Cup following the decision to expand participation to include 48 teams.
“The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and this year’s AFC Asian Cup have shown the progress that Asian football is witnessing, and I am confident that this will continue in the future, especially if you take advantage of the support of the FIFA Forward programme and the talent development scheme,” he added.
Asia has recently become a destination for global football by hosting the Asian Cup and the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which witnessed, for the first time, three Asian teams reaching the knockout stage, as well as hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022.
This was followed by Australia sharing the hosting of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, along with the 2023 Indonesia U-17 World Cup, the 2023 Saudi Club World Cup and the 2023 UAE Beach Soccer World Cup. Central Asia will have its first tournaments in September and October with the 2024 Uzbekistan Futsal World Cup, while Qatar will host the next five U-17 World Cups starting in 2025.