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