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FIFA Council unanimously approves a 48-team World Cup from 2026

FIFA Council unanimously approves a 48-team World Cup from 2026

The FIFA Council have unanimously decided to expand the World Cup to host 48 teams, up from 32 from 2026 at a vote in Zurich.

The plans overseen by president Gianni Infantino mean the tournament will now have 16 groups of three teams.

The top two sides in each group will advance into a last-32 knock-out stage. There will be a total of 80 games in the tournament. Currently, in the 32-team format, 64 matches are played overall.

The tournament will be completed within 32 days – a measure to appease powerful European clubs, who objected to reform because of a crowded international schedule.

The changes mark the first World Cup expansion since 1998.

David Kugonza

January 10th, 2017

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