Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

World football governing body FIFA is considering the format of the 2026 World Cup following the success of four-team groups at 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“Here the groups of four have been absolutely incredible. Until the last minute of the last match you would not know who goes through,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino while addressing the media in Doha on Friday.

The current edition of the mega event in Qatar witnessed a total of 32 teams drawn into eight groups of four nations leading into the knockout rounds. The four-team group format, with the top two going through to the knockout stages, has been used since the men’s World Cup expanded to 32 teams in 1998.

As per infantino, 48 teams will take part in the 2026 World Cup. The teams will include 45 qualifying nations plus the three host countries. Infantino indicated the host countries will not have to go through the qualifiers.

Earlier, FIFA had planned for the 2026 tournament to consist of 16 groups of three teams but Infantino suggested groups of four are likely to remain.