FIFA Switches Back To Four-team Group Format For World Cup 2026

FIFA has returned to four-team groups for the former expanded format of 2026 World Cup. Because the number of teams is expanding from 32 to 48, the competition in the United States, Mexico, and Canada was supposed to have 16 groups of three.

However, the success of the four-team system at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar prompted FIFA to reconsider its previous view. The competition has now grown from its original 80 matches to 104, including a new round-of-32 round. FIFA said that the top two teams and the eight best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 32.

“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,” said world football’s governing body.

The decision was made at FIFA’s Council Meeting in Rwanda on Tuesday.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated in December that the governing body was exploring a format change following several entertaining final games in the group stages in Qatar.

Since the men’s World Cup expanded to 32 teams in 1998, the four-team group format has been utilized, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stages.

Leave a Reply