The next football World Cup will be held for the first time with 48 teams. This makes timing difficult. According to media reports, FIFA now has a new mode in mind.
According to a report by the British “Guardian”, FIFA and the tournament organizers are considering changing the format of the upcoming World Cup.
In 2026, 48 teams will take part in the World Cup for the first time, instead of the previous 32 teams. The tournament in the USA, Canada and Mexico will then be played in groups of 16, with the first two groups moving into the knockout stage.
More than 40 games by 2022
According to the report, the possibility of four-twelve groups is currently being discussed “unofficially” at the World Cup in Qatar.
If the top two and top eight third-ranked teams in the group advance in this mode, this will lead to 104 World Cup games – that would be 40 more games than what is currently on schedule in Qatar.
A total of 80 World Cup matches will be played, with 16 groups of three and the following four qualifying rounds. For the finalists, however, seven games would remain the same.
This mod is criticized for the higher risk of collusion, as a nation needs to be out of the game.
FIFA expects significantly higher revenue from the increase to 48 participants. The 16 qualifying countries will also benefit, in addition to the previous 32.
Number of previous participants
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