FIFA 2026 World Cup to expand to 48 teams

Zurich: The 2026 football World Cup will be expanded to host 48 teams from the present 32, FIFA’s world governing body announced on Tuesday.

“The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026: 16 groups of 3 teams,” FIFA tweeted after the voting.

The tournament will have an initial stage of 16 groups of three teams. Two teams from each group will qualify for a Round-of-32 knockout stage.

World football governing body FIFA’s governing panel voted unanimously in favour of the change here on Tuesday.

The number of matches in the tournament will go up to 80, from the existing 64.