FIFA Council have approved a 48-team World Cup from 2026

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There will be a total of 80 games in the tournament.

The top two sides in each of the 16 groups will advance into a last-32 knock-out stage.

Currently, in the 32-team format, 64 matches are played overall.

The other major decision regarding 2026 – who will host the event – is not scheduled for consideration until 2020 with a bid featuring the United States.

They have calculated that tournament revenue would increase to £5.29billion with 48 teams, working on the projected revenue of next year’s 32-team World Cup in Russia.

  • FIFA Council have unanimously approved a World Cup of 48 teams
  • The tournament currently has 32 sides in eight groups of four
  • From 2026, the competition will have 16 groups of three teams 

How the World Cup has grown

  • 1930 – Uruguay – 13 teams – 18 matches
  • 1934 – Italy – 16 teams – 17 matches
  • 1950 – Brazil – 13 teams – 22 matches
  • 1954 – Switzerland – 16 teams – 26 matches
  • 1974 – West Germany – 16 teams – 38 matches
  • 1982 – Spain – 24 teams – 52 matches 
  • 1986 – Mexico – 24 teams – 52 matches
  • 1998 – France – 32 teams – 64 matches

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