FIFA World Cup 2026 format expands again

March 14, 2023

FIFA is preparing to approve a move that will establish the rules for the biggest and longest soccer championship in history.

FIFA World Cup 2026 format expands again.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup format expands again

FIFA is revealing a new format for the 2026 World Cup, which is likely to have 104 games spread over 39 days.

The choice may finalize at a FIFA Council meeting later on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda, where senior football officials will gather on Thursday for their annual congress.

With 48 teams competing, the 2026 World Cup will be the biggest and longest World Cup history. Canada, Mexico and the United States will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. .

The initial plan was to divide the participants into 16 groups of three, with the top two advancing to a 32-team knockout round. Its schedule would have included 80 games, an increase over the 64-game format utilized by FIFA since 1998.

But, groups of three have two important disadvantages: you lose the thrill of the last round of simultaneous group-stage games, and you raise the likelihood of the two teams in the final game conspiring to produce the result they require.

The so-called “Disgrace of Gijon” occurred during the 1982 World Cup at Gijon, when West Germany and Austria virtually agreed on a 1-0 win for the Germans, as that was good enough for them to proceed at the expense of Algeria.

Memories of this and other such scandals had evidently faded at FIFA, when it decided to extend the World Cup in 2017 and accepted the 163 format.

FIFA World Cup 2026

The chiefs of soccer’s six confederations met with FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino and none had any disagreement to the proposed format. Later on Tuesday, after a meeting where FIFA’s 36-member governing council is likely to similarly endorse the adjustments, a formal announcement is due.

Days will also be in addition by increasin additional games. Players’ unions and clubs, who are already angry by the excessive demands on the best athletes in the sport, can definitely feel furious by such a longer suspension.

Because Infantino became FIFA President in 2016, the men’s tournament has not been granted until the North American World Cup. Several of the smaller member countries of the governing body have welcomed the expansion due to the increased options for qualification and the additional billions of dollars in money it would generate, but many spectators and pundits are worried it will lower the level of the competition.

Infantino has forecast that the 2026 World Cup will bring in a record-breaking sum of money. FIFA has budgeted $11 billion in revenue for the four years leading up to 2026, nearly $4 billion more than it took in for the same period leading up to the World Cup in Qatar.

An official from FIFA declined to comment on the potential format for the 2026 competition.