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2026 World Cup: the format is becoming clearer, no 3-team groups?


The 2026 FIFA World Cup, the first with 48 countries, will be longer than previous ones. But it should keep its group formula with 4 teams.

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.

To discover

  • World Cup 2026: dates, venue and format

  • World Cup: The complete table of the final phase

  • All World Cup match results


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.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-03-14

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