FIFA Council Approves 48-Team World Cup For 2026 Edition

Updated: 10 January 2017 15:59 IST

"The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026: 16 groups of 3 teams," a tweet from FIFA's official account said.

FIFA Council Approves 48-Team World Cup For 2026 Edition
FIFA's ruling council took the decision to increase the teams at the World Cup on Tuesday. © AFP

FIFA's ruling council on Tuesday unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, with a format of 16 groups of three nations.

"The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026: 16 groups of 3 teams," a tweet from FIFA's official account said.

The decision marks a major coup for the body's president Gianni Infantino who has made enlarging football's showcase event the centrepiece of his young administration.

The controversial proposal has faced criticism from some of the sport's most powerful voices, including warnings that it would dilute the quality of play and overburden already exhausted players.

But Infantino had in recent weeks voiced confidence that his flagship project would be approved.

While noting that a bigger tournament would bring in more money, the FIFA chief has also argued that more World Cup berths would help drive football's global growth.

Africa and Asia could be the big winners in a larger format with a rise in their number of places, currently at 5 and 4.5 respectively.

But in order to smooth over scepticism about World Cup reform within UEFA, it is likely that Europe will also see its allotments rise above the current 13 places.

(With inputs from AFP)

 

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Topics : Football FIFA
Highlights
  • FIFA's ruling council voted unanimously in favour of this decision
  • The 2018 and 2022 World Cups will feature 32 teams
  • The World Cup format will include 16 groups of three nations
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