2026 WC to have 12 teams of 4, 104 matches
The 2026 World Cup could have 104 matches as an alternative of the normal 64 video games because of the expanded format with 48 groups participating, world soccer governing physique FIFA stated on Tuesday.
The 2026 version, which shall be co-hosted by america, Canada and Mexico, would be the first version of the quadrennial event the place 48 groups are participating.
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“The FIFA Council unanimously approved the proposed amendment to the FIFA World Cup 2026 competition format from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four with the top two and eight best third-placed teams progressing to a round of 32,” FIFA stated.
“The revised format mitigates the risk of collusion and ensures that all the teams play a minimum of three matches, while providing balanced rest time between competing teams.”
The 32-team World Cup in Qatar final 12 months had a complete of 64 matches accomplished in 29 days. The final time Mexico (1986) and america (1994) hosted a World Cup, there have been solely 24 groups.
The event has had 32 groups for the reason that 1998 version, with eight teams of 4 and the finalists enjoying seven video games every. However groups reaching the summit conflict in 2026 will now play eight matches in whole.
The unique plan for the 2026 version had a complete of 80 matches however the resolution to extend the variety of video games to 104 was accepted by FIFA’s council at a gathering on Tuesday.
The brand new format can even stick with drawing 4 groups in a gaggle after a proposal for a three-team group was shot down over fears of collusion.
Historically the highest two groups from every group advance to the final 16 however the 2026 version can even have the eight greatest third-placed groups shifting into the knockout spherical of 32.