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Asia 'deserves' more spots in expanded World Cup - AFC president Khalifa

Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.

An expanded World Cup will benefit Asian nations, according to Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the president of the Asian Football Confederation.

The FIFA council meeting decided on Tuesday to increase the number of participating teams from 32 to 48 for the 2026 World Cup onwards.

The 2014 edition in Brazil had only four of the 32 nations from the AFC -- Japan, South Korea, Iran and Australia.

"We believe that Asia, as the biggest continent, deserves more slots compared with the current quota,...

 By Rob Brooks

World Cup qualification is the most important task for Australian football

Newcastle have defeated Brisbane 3-2 in a to-and-fro encounter at Suncorp Stadium. The win sees the Jets move into the top six.
Newcastle defeated Brisbane 3-2 in a to-and-fro encounter at Suncorp Stadium. The win sees the Jets move into the top six.

The past 12 months have been a topsy-turvy affair for Australian football, but with crucial international matches on the horizon and the stakes continually rising in club land, there's plenty to wish for as we begin 2017.

Here are five wishes to help Australian football grow toward its potential:

1. World Cup qualification

The prize every nation is vying for in 2017 is a ticket to Russia 2018, and the Socceroos are no different. A fourth consecutive World Cup appearance is in the offing if Ange Postecoglou...

Huddersfield loanee Aaron Mooy dismisses talk of a return to Man City

Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy has won three out of a possible five Championship player of the month awards this season.

Aaron Mooy is keeping a lid on any Premier League aspirations despite the Australian's stocks continuing to rise in Europe.

Mooy has won a third player of the month award this season for Huddersfield Town from five opportunities, also taking it out in August and September.

The midfielder starred as the Championship side went undefeated in December, winning four of six matches.

The 26-year-old, on loan from Manchester City, played every minute last month as the Terriers bounced back from sixth to...

Socceroo Robbie Kruse set for China move as Bayer Leverkusen exit looms

Bayer Leverkusen forward Robbie Kruse
Australian winger Robbie Kruse is likely to join Liaoning Whowin from Bayer Leverkusen this month.

Socceroos forward Robbie Kruse is set to join the growing list of international players moving to China after telling Bayer Leverkusen he wants out.

The German Bundesliga club won't stand in his way amid reports he is in talks to join Liaoning Whowin in the lucrative Chinese Super League.

Kruse's agent has confirmed to Leverkusen he is looking to continue his career elsewhere after limited game time at the club this season.

"He has a good character. We won't put stones in his way," club boss Michael...

Brisbane Roar contract talks with Jamie Maclaren ongoing - Aloisi

Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren
Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren is in talks for a contract renewal.

Talks with off-contract star Jamie Maclaren are ongoing, but Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi says he doesn't know when the striker's future will be sorted.

The 23-year-old Socceroo's deal with the Roar expires at the end of the season, and he is free to speak to other clubs about a potential free transfer.

Brisbane's A-League opponents on Friday night, the Western Sydney Wanderers, are believed to be interested while Europe remains an option for Maclaren, the highest-scoring Australian player in...