FIFA Council approves format for expanded 2026 FIFA World Cup
The FIFA Council has decided to return to the four-team group format for the 2026 FIFA World Cup taking place in the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
With 48 teams involved in this edition, expanded from 32, it was initially planned to feature 16 groups of three however the success of a four-team format at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar caused a switch.
This means that there will now be 12 groups of four meaning eight best third-placed teams will progress to a new round-of-32 stage.
The extra games and teams mean that this tournament will take 39 days with a reduced pre-tournament release period being set at 16 days instead of
The allocations of guaranteed places in the 2026 FIFA World Cup for each confederation are as follows:
– Eight guaranteed places for the AFC
– Nine guaranteed places for the CAF
– Six guaranteed places for the CONCACAF
– Six guaranteed places for the CONMEBOL
– 16 guaranteed places for the UEFA
– One guaranteed place for the OFC
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