2026 World Cup could have report 104 matches, 12 teams of 4

The 2026 World Cup could have 104 matches as a substitute of the conventional sixty 4 video games in consequence of expanded format with forty eight teams collaborating, world soccer governing physique FIFA said on Tuesday forward of its Congress in Kigali, Rwanda.

The 2026 version, which is extra probably to be co-hosted by the us, Canada and Mexico, could be the foremost version of the quadrennial event by which forty eight teams are collaborating. the remaining is extra probably to be held on July 19.

the mannequin new format may even maintain on with drawing 4 teams in a bunch after a proposal for a three-crew group was shot down over fears of collusion. nonetheless, the quantity of teams will enhance from eight to 12.

the distinctive plan for the 2026 version had an whole of eighty matches nonetheless the a quantity of to enhance the quantity of video games to 104 was accepted by FIFA’s council at a gathering on Tuesday.

traditionally the biggest two teams from every group advance to the final sixteen nonetheless the 2026 version may even have the eight biggest third-positioned teams transferring into the knockout spherical of 32.

2026 World Cup: forty eight teams, extra teams, venues and video games

“The FIFA Council unanimously accepted the proposed modification to the FIFA World Cup 2026 opponents format,” FIFA said.

“The revised format mitigates the hazard of collusion and ensures that every one the teams play a minimal of three matches, whereas offering balanced relaxation time between competing teams.”

The 32-crew World Cup in Qatar final 12 months had an whole of sixty 4 matches accomplished in 29 days. The final time Mexico (1986) and the united states of america (1994) hosted a World Cup, there have been solely 24 teams.

The event has had 32 teams as a end result of the 1998 version, with eight teams of 4 and the finalists taking half in seven video games every. however teams reaching the summit conflict in 2026 will now play eight matches in complete.

FIFA said golf equipment should launch gamers for the World Cup from might 25, 2026, till they’re in a extreme remaining — equivalent to a end result of the Champions League showpiece — for which golf equipment could have till might 30 to allow gamers to hitch their nationwide teams.

“With fifty six days, the full mixed quantity of relaxation, launch and event days stay the similar to the 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup editions,” FIFA added.

additionally on Tuesday, FIFA said a 32-crew membership World Cup is extra probably to be performed every 4 years from June 2025, confirming the announcement made by its president, Gianni Infantino, in Qatar final 12 months.

Confederation champions from 2021 to ’24 is extra probably to be eligible to play inside the membership World Cup, which suggests Chelsea and exact Madrid have already licensed.

ought to both membership win the Champions League as quickly as extra, a membership rating calculation primarily based on sporting standards is extra probably to be used to get your hands on out which utterly different crew will qualify.

the current mannequin of the FIFA membership World Cup — an annual opponents with seven teams — is extra probably to be discontinued after 2023, with a mannequin new yearly membership opponents accepted from 2024.

“This opponents will attribute the champions of the premier membership competitions of all confederations and conclude with a remaining to be performed at a impartial venue, between the winner of the UEFA Champions League and the winner of intercontinental playoffs between the a quantity of confederations,” FIFA said.

A newly structured worldwide calendar was additionally accepted with 9-day residence windows in March and June for two video games every, a sixteen-day window for 4 matches in September-October adopted by one other 9-day two-match window in November.

The information was obtained with a blended response from the expert Footballers’ affiliation (PFA), which said anxious about “bodily fatigue and psychological burnout” in consequence of congested schedule. PFA CEO Maheta Molango went up to now as to say the soccer calendar needed a “full reset.”

“The expanded World Cup format being introduced for 2026 implies that, but as quickly as extra, extra video games are being compelled into an already overcrowded schedule,” Molango said.

The PFA said it was inspired to see FIFA had prioritised factors equivalent to a end result of the want for a “minimal of seventy two hours between video games, a obligatory break day every week and an annual relaxation interval”.

“nonetheless, it is very troublesome to see how that aligns with the fixed progress of the home and worldwide calendar,” Molango added.

“all of us know that the current workload gamers face is having an ongoing impression on their wellbeing. we will not merely push them till they break.”

LaLiga additionally criticised FIFA in a press launch which be taught: “FIFA continues its unhealthy observe of taking unilateral decisions regarding the world soccer calendar, displaying an absolute disrespect for the significance of nationwide leagues…

“FIFA does not pay any consideration to the monetary harm that these decisions imply for leagues throughout the globe. these leagues weren’t consulted about any of the modifications provided right this second, particularly the mannequin new annual membership opponents, which we did not have any thought about, and severely impacts our competitions.”


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