FIFA to expand 2026 World Cup to 48 teams

FIFA to expand 2026 World Cup to 48 teams
# 14 March 2023 20:39 (UTC +04:00)

FIFA is set to approve plans on Tuesday for the biggest-ever World Cup in 2026, APA reports citing Sky Sports.

At a meeting of the FIFA Council in Kigali, Rwanda, it will be confirmed that there will be 104 games in 2026 instead of the 64 games which were played in Qatar last year.

The extra 40 games are needed because the tournament is expanding from 32 to 48 teams.

The 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico and Canada will have 12 groups of four teams. The top two teams will advance to a round of 32 with the eight best third-placed teams.

FIFA had been considering a format of 12 groups of three teams, but the excitement generated by the traditional four-team group format used in the Qatar World Cup has helped to convince the FIFA Council to stick with four-team groups.

The combined number of rest, release and tournament days remains the same as previous World Cups in 2010, 2014 and 2018 - 56 days.

It means teams reaching the final will now have to play eight matches, rather than the seven played by Qatar 2022 finalists Argentina and France.

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