25th September 12:43 PM
Oceania to get direct entry into 2026 FIFA World Cup
By Dhanjay Deo
Thursday 12/01/2017
Iosefo Verevou

A great day for Fiji soccer and the Oceania teams as the Oceania region will get a direct entry in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

It has taken a long 51 years for the Oceania region to achieve this.

This means that the winner of the Oceania competition will automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup while the runner up will go through a qualifying round.

This has been made possible through Fifa's landmark decision this morning to expand the FIFA World Cup from 32 to 48 teams.

The Oceania winner always had to go through another series of tough playoff to reach the FIFA World Cup.

The Fiji soccer team will now only need to beat teams like New Zealand, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Solomons and Vanuatu to reach the FIFA Finals.

The President of the Fiji Football Association, Rajesh Patel says a lot of work has gone behind this landmark decision by FIFA.

Patel has also confirmed that they will strongly block Australia from coming back to Oceania.

The Socceroos left Oceania in 2005 to join Asia and has since qualified for two consecutive FIFA World Cups as an Asian nation.

Meanwhile, according to Stuff.co, there is even a bigger reason for Australia to come back to Oceania than qualifying for the World Cup.

A partnership with New Zealand will raise the possibility of a legitimate joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in Australia as early as 2034, or at least in 2038.

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