FIFA confirms a historic change: the 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams and the champion will have to play 8 matches

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THE fifa held a new summit this Tuesday in Rwanda, where the new format for the next World Cup to be played will be approved. From 2026, 48 teams will participate and 104 games will be played.

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Starting from the new meeting, in which Claudio Chiqui Tapia is present, the new modality of the World Cup will be confirmed, which will have 12 groups of 4 teams (another four groups), in which the first two of each group and the 8 best third-placed teams will qualify for the next phase. Even this way the heads-up phase will start on the 16th. final and not from the eighth.

With 104 games in total, the World Cup will last two weeks longer than usual, with a duration of one and a half months.

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US, Mexico and Canada 2026 will be the first location to have this new format. Therefore, each confederation’s qualifying format will be changed and more countries will have more chances to qualify for the top competition at national team level.

In conclusion, it can be said that the Argentina national team was the last national team to be world champion in a format with 32 teams.

Photo: Fernando de la Orden - Leo Messi lifts the World Cup at the Lusail Qatar stadium

Photo: Fernando de la Orden – Leo Messi lifts the World Cup at the Lusail Qatar stadium

What would the CONMEBOL tie look like?

Starting with qualifiers starting to play around 2026, the odds CONMEBOL would contribute would be six qualifiers plus a playoff. That is, 10 of the teams participating in the qualifiers, 7 will have a chance to participate in the World Cup.

Source: Clarin

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