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Wenger: Africa team will contest World Cup final soon

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In Doha

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenge says he expects to see an African side contesting in a World Cup final soon.

“Africa will have nine or 10 teams at the next World Cup. With higher representation I expect Africa to be one of the main competitors in the final of the World Cup in the future,” said Wenger yesterday in Doha during a presentation by the Fifa Technical Study Group on the tournament thus far .

The 2026 World Cup that will be jointly hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico will see participating nations increase from the current 32 to 48.

Fifa has yet to decide on the increased quota for each of its regions.

Africa with 54 affiliates has only five World Cup slots. Confederation of Africa Football has always argued that the continent needs more slots to reflect the number of countries on the continent.

Europe in comparison has 13 World Cup spots that are decided amongst 55 nations.

Wenger, who was appointed to his current Fifa position in November 2019, observed that teams that concentrated on football seemed to have done much better than others that also focused on other issues.

Several European countries including Germany and Denmark have accused Fifa of gagging them in their quest to raise concerns over LGBT rights and workers rights in Qatar. They failed to get out of the group phase.

Fifa warned it would sanction any player who put on the “OneLove” rainbow armband in support of LGBT rights. The world football body introduced its own “No Discrimination” campaign and encouraged players to wear the band in support.

Wenger, also known as “The Professor” for his studious approach to the game is chiefly responsible for overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport.

He is the leading authority on technical matters in Fifa.

Former Germany international and coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a member of the technical study group, observed during the same presentation that shooting from 20 metres out had become more difficult.

“Teams are keeping their defensive and midfield lines so close together it is difficult for opposing teams to take a shot at goal. There is almost no chance to pull a trigger. You need split seconds to do that If the chance comes,” he said.



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