FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, says that the planned 48-team format for the 2026 FIFA World Cup may be modified due to recent developments witnessed at Qatar 2022 edition.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup is expected to be contested by 48 teams which is a significant increase on the current 32 teams, and there would be 16 groups with three countries each.
However, Infantinno has said after witnessing the incredibly close contests for the next round qualification from the group stage at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the three-team group format decision could be reversed.
Also Read – 2022 World Cup: Croatia Edge Morocco, Clinch Third-Place
“We are really convinced of the growth, we have been approving a 48-team format with 16 groups of three, where the top two would move into a knockout phase,” talkSPORT quoted Infantinno as saying.
“After this World Cup and the success of groups of four and looking as well at other competitions as well, like the Euros, they have been absolutely incredible in the sense that going into the last minute of the last match (to decide) who will go ahead (to the knockout stage).
“So we have to revisit and discuss if that goes ahead, that is something that will be on the agenda in the next meetings. It is something we need to discuss, whether 16 groups of three or 12 groups of four are better.”
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by three North American countries; The United States of America (USA), Canada and Mexico.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first edition to be co-hosted by three countries.
By Toju Sote
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