FIFA approves new World Cup format

FIFA Council has approved a new World Cup format which will feature 12 groups of four teams for the 2026 tournament.

This will be the first FIFA World Cup jointly hosted by three countries: Canada, United States of America and Mexico.

“Based on a thorough review that considered sporting integrity, player welfare, team travel, commercial and sporting attractiveness, as well as team and fan experience, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the proposed amendment to the FIFA World Cup 2026 competition format from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four with the top two and eight best third-placed teams progressing to a round of 32,” read the statement.

“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.”

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