What will the 2026 FIFA World Cup look like?
According to the
New York Times
, Fifa President Gianni Infantino met with the presidents of the six confederations on Monday evening in a bid to settle the matter.
The next World Cup, scheduled for the summer of 2026 and organized by the United States, Mexico and Canada, will be the first to compete with 48 teams, against 32 since the 1998 edition.
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New York Times
reveals that Fifa plans to extend the duration of the World Cup which, until now, never took place more than a month.
In 2026, it should be spread over 40 days, i.e. 11 days more than the 2022 edition. Who says more teams says more matches: the next World Cup should give rise to 104 meetings, i.e. 40 more than during recent tournaments.
Avoid early eliminations
Finally, one of the major questions concerns the group stage.
At the end of 2016, the year of his election at the head of Fifa, Infantino submitted the idea of 16 groups each comprising 3 teams.
Last December, Arsène Wenger, director of development within the international body, assured that nothing had yet been decided.
Finally, nothing should change: each group (12 instead of 8 before) should include 4 teams.
Fifa would be concerned, in the case of groups of 3 teams, of the risk of an arrangement between two teams during the last match of this group stage.
In addition, nations would only have the opportunity to play two matches, compared to three with the current format.
Finally, the increased suspense on the last day of the group stage, at the 2022 World Cup, would comfort Fifa in the perspective of not changing anything.