CONFIRMED: A 48-team World Cup is on the way in 2026
The news has just been confirmed by FIFA.
The World Cup finals will feature 48 teams from 2026 onwards, it has been confirmed.
The decision by the FIFA Council had been widely expected, with president Gianni Infantino's plan for 16 groups of three teams each winning unanimous approval.
Under the terms of Infantino's main proposal, the number of games would rise from 64 to 80.
"There won’t be too much football. Why worry about it? We’re just excited about it," said president of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick.
"You should understand, the president of Fifa, whatever he does, he does a lot of consultation and research.
"And of course he knows it’s not going to be boring. It’s going to be very good. There’s going to be more teams and more football. The more the merrier, and I believe he will get it right. If it isn’t agreed it would be a big surprise because most nations are supporting it."
The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026:
16 groups of 3 teams. Details to follow after the meeting.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) January 10, 2017
While you're here.
Listen to Johnny O'Connor, Mike McCarthy and Donncha O'Callaghan talking about training fights, Conor Murray and all things rugby on episode 4 of The Hard Yards.
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