ZIMBABWE’S Warriors, who were expelled from the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers without kicking a ball, could dream of making their maiden appearance at the biggest football festival in 2026 after Africa were allotted four extra slots for the showcase.
The FIFA Council provided Africa, which has five slots at the World Cup, an additional four slots, starting with the 2026 edition which will be a 48-team World Cup.
The FIFA Council’s move is set to be endorsed by the FIFA Congress when it meets in Bahrain later this year.
Meanwhile, Kwesé Sports have secured additional rights for its viewers by adding the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 to their roster.
“As the world’s best compete for football’s most prestigious title, and living legends like Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo and Toure compete for their nations’ pride, Kwesé will give Africa a front-row seat,’’ the company said in a statement.
“Will Germany retain top honours or will 2018 be the year when an African nation hoists the trophy for the first time?
“Whatever the outcome, a record number of African sports fans will be able to catch all the action LIVE on Kwesé.
“The broadcaster has secured exclusive free-to-air (FTA) rights for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). Kwesé will broadcast the tournaments through its pan-African FTA channel Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), currently Africa’s largest FTA channel, which boasts a potential audience in excess of 100 million.
“African viewers who would otherwise not have seen football’s greatest showcase will be able to view it live on KFS!”
The president and chief executive of Econet Media, Joseph Hundah, said they were delivering on their promise.
“There is no doubt that the FIFA World Cup is a highlight for sports fans all over the globe and Africa is home to some of the game’s biggest fans. We had to have these major sporting events on our platforms.
“With exclusive rights to broadcast the tournament free-to-air, we are staying true to our intention to deliver the best sporting programming to as many people as possible across the continent,” said Hundah.