At the Congress of the International Football Federation (FIFA), the format for the 2026 World Cup was approved, in which 48 teams will take part for the first time, Match TV writes.
FIFA chose the option in which 48 participants will be divided into 12 groups of 4 teams.
The top two teams from each group and the top eight teams from the third places will advance to the 1/16 finals.
In total, the teams will play 104 matches in the next World Cup. The 2026 World Cup will be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The tournament will last 39 days.
“Based on a thorough review that took into account the integrity of the sport, player health, team travel, commercial and sporting appeal, and team and fan experience, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the proposed amendment.
The revised format reduces the risk of collusion, ensures that all teams play a minimum of three matches, and ensures that all competing teams rest," FIFA said in a statement.
It should be noted that initially 48 participants were planned to be divided into 16 groups of 3 teams each.