FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, has launched an invitation to tender (ITT) for the centralized media rights to all African qualifying matches for the 2026 men’s World Cup.
Media companies or organizations wishing to participate in the tender process can request the ITT by contacting AfricanQualifiersFWC2026@fifa.org.
A deadline of 11:00 CEST on August 29 has been set for bids to be submitted.
An agreement was reached with all 54 member associations of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in August 2019 that the media rights to all African qualifiers for the 2022 and 2026 editions of the World Cup would be managed by FIFA under a centralized sales model.
The agreement also specifies that all profits generated will be distributed among the 54 nations.
FIFA said the tender process will allow it to “select the media companies that are best placed to meet the required transmission and production commitments that will enable it to achieve its objectives of reaching the widest-possible audience and providing a high-quality viewing experience for fans.”
For the first time, up to 10 African teams will have the opportunity to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, an increase from the five qualifying berths that were available for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
This is due to soccer’s showpiece event expanding to 48 teams for the next edition which will take place in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
The format of the African qualifiers has been extended for this edition, and it will be the first time that all 54 CAF-affiliated national teams will compete together from the outset of the tournament.
This means that there will be a record of 273 qualifying matches, which will be played across the continent between November 2023 and November 2025.
A group phase featuring nine groups of six teams, each playing home and away in a round-robin format, will see the nine group winners qualify directly for the 2026 World Cup.
The four best group runners-up will then compete in a playoff round to determine the CAF representative at the FIFA intercontinental play-off tournament, through which another spot at the tournament is available.
Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia were the African representatives at last year’s World Cup, with Morocco becoming the first nation from the region to reach the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, FIFA has expanded the reach of its FIFA+ streaming service, making it available on multiple connected TV apps and FAST (free, ad-supported television) channel platforms.
The service has been rolled out on five connected TV apps – Samsung TV, LG, VIDAA, Amazon Fire, and Android TV – and five FAST channels – Samsung TV Plus, LG Channels, VIDAA Channels, The Roku Channel, and Rakuten TV.
The distribution deals have been struck with the 2023 Women’s World Cup currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand.
Content from the tournament is available across the platform, including interviews, highlights, and full match replays after 24 hours in select territories, while it is providing live coverage of matches in more than 60 countries including Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Charlotte Burr, FIFA’s director of strategy, digital, and FIFA+ said: "We are excited to bring FIFA+ to fans through these connected TV apps and FAST channel platforms, extending our reach and making football more accessible to a wider audience.
"Our goal is to connect fans from every corner of the world and provide them with unrivaled access. This expansion is a significant step towards achieving that vision. Every innovation we make is rooted in growing the game.”
FIFA+, which launched last year, attracted 211 million unique users for the 2022 World Cup, as well as 190 million views on match recaps, according to the governing body.