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What is the new format for FIFA World Cup 2026?

Published at :March 15, 2023 at 5:00 AM
Modified at :March 15, 2023 at 5:39 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla

FIFA is expected to accept adding 40 more fixtures from the North American World Cup in 2026 to the men's World Cup.

The World Cup in 2026, which will be jointly hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, will feature 48 teams, an increase from the current 32-team event that has been going on since 1998.

The decision to increase the number of games from 64 to 104 instead of the 80 that were originally scheduled for 2026 is expected to be made at a discussion of the ruling council of the governing body in Kigali, Rwanda. Adding games not only help FIFA reach its revenue goal of more than £9 billion but also addresses format problems.

More changes to the format

This change was made from the initial proposal for the 2026 edition, which called for a maximum of 80 matches.

Adding games not only help FIFA reach its £9 billion income goal, but it also fixes format problems for the event that the US, Canada, and Mexico are co-hosting. The expansion of the competition from 32 to 48 teams was already approved by FIFA.

FIFA will have 12 groups, each with four countries, as opposed to 16 groups with three teams each.The total number of rest, release, and tournament days is still 56 days, just like in the 2010 World Cup, 2014 World Cup, and 2018 World Cup.

The eight best third-place teams will join the top two teams in a round of 32. As a result, teams making it to the final will be required to play eight matches, as opposed to the seven matches that were played in Qatar 2022 from November to December.

Club World Cup replacement

FIFA also introduced Club World, a new biennial club competition that will be sanctioned in 2024, replacing the present FIFA Club World Cup, an annual competition featuring seven teams, which will be terminated after 2023.

"This competition will feature the champions of the premier club competitions of all confederations and conclude with a final to be played at a neutral venue, between the winner of the UEFA Champions League and the winner of intercontinental play-offs between the other confederations," FIFA said.