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Fifa: Club World Cup goes to Saudi Arabia - mode of the 2026 World Cup remains unclear


triplets? groups of four? 80 games – or 104? Fifa still has no plan on how to hold the 2026 World Cup. On the other hand, the three hosts do not have to qualify.

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The President of the Mexican Football Association presenting the joint bid with the USA and Canada for the 2026 World Cup

Photo: Pavel Golovkin/ dpa

The world governing body Fifa has still not made a decision about the mode of the preliminary round at the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Mexico and Canada.

Details would "follow in due course," FIFA announced after a council meeting.

The world association only confirmed that the three hosts USA, Canada and Mexico have a guaranteed starting place and do not have to qualify first.

Hosts receive fixed starting places

The tournament in three years will be held for the first time with 48 teams.

Fifa had initially favored 16 groups of three in the preliminary round, but recently they also brought up twelve groups of four.

Reason: In groups of three, it would be unavoidable that the two teams involved would know in the final game of the group with which result both could be further.

Agreements would be possible.

The number of games increases in both cases.

In groups of three, 80 instead of the previous 64 matches would be played, and in groups of four even 104. The tournament will be held in June and July 2026.

Club World Cup goes to Saudi Arabia

Clarity has now been provided on two other points relating to the upcoming World Cup: On the one hand, the European Football Union (Uefa) will receive twelve places for the Club World Cup, which will be expanded to 32 teams from 2025.

Six starters come from South America, four each from Asia, Africa and North/Central America/Caribbean.

One place goes to Oceania, and the host is also seated.

There had recently been a lot of criticism of the new format.

In the calendar of events, the Club World Cup takes the place of the former Confederations Cup, which took place in the previous years of a World Cup until 2017 and has since been dropped.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia was confirmed as the venue for the 2023 Club World Cup (December 12-22).

The decision was unanimous.

The current format with seven clubs is still used there.

For the first time, a major football event is taking place in the country, which is seen as the starting signal for greater ambitions: Saudi Arabia is said to be planning a joint bid with Egypt and Greece for the 2030 World Cup, and the Olympic Games are also part of the Saudi crown prince's "Vision 2030". Mohammed bin Salman.


Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-02-14

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