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FIFA Announces New Format for 2026 World Cup

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FIFA Announces New Format for 2026 World Cup

(CTN News) – On Tuesday, FIFA’s Council changed the group stage format for the 2026 World Cup from 16 groups of three nations to 12 groups of four teams, increasing the number of games from 64 in 2022 to 104 in 2026.


The number of games a team must compete in to win the World Cup has increased from seven to eight.

The 32 best teams from each group will advance to the next round, which kicks off the elimination stage.

With the increase from 24 to 32 teams in 1998, the option for the tournament’s third-place team to advance was removed.


There will now be 104 matches at the 2026 World Cup, up from the original 80 under the 2026 format and up from the 64 at each tournament from 1998 through 2022.

FIFA’s bottom line will benefit from increased material for TV broadcasters and ticket sales.


With the World Cup increasing from 32 to 48 nations beginning in 2026, the Council adopted the original configuration for the 2026 tournament in the United States, México, and Canada in January 2017.

One team would have had a day off at the end of the group stage, meaning two teams would have had to play.

After the Disgrace of Gijón at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, when West Germany and Austria knew that a one- or two-goal win by the Germans would advance both nations at the expense of Algeria.

The current schedule of having all teams in a group kick off simultaneously on the final day was adopted. West Germany won 1-0 after Horst Hrubesch scored in the 10th minute, and neither team scored again.


FIFA has set July 19 as the date for the championship game. East Rutherford, New Jersey, Arlington, Texas, and Inglewood, California, are all strong candidates for the location, but nothing has been officially announced yet.

The tournament’s length has not been announced. However, it will probably last between 38 and 42 days.

A total of 32 teams qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, up from 29 in the 2017 tournament in Qatar. From June 17th to July 17th, 1994, the tournament took place.


On May 25, a day after leagues must play their final pre-World Cup matches, FIFA confirmed that the mandatory release deadline for players to be made available to national teams by their clubs would be.

However, continental finals, such as the Champions League, may continue beyond May 30 with FIFA’s blessing.

After the release date, there will be a period of rest during which training will be permitted, but international friendlies will not.

FIFA has stated that the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup all share the same 56 days of rest, release, and tournament.

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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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