Design World Cup 2026 with 16 groups of 3 teams not final

The set-up of the 2026 World Cup with 16 groups of 3 teams has not yet been finalized. FIFA's Arsene Wenger said that no final decision has yet been made on the format for the FIFA World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The 2022 World Cup was extremely exciting as the group stage reached its climax and all four teams played at the same time, but now that the final tournament has been expanded from 32 to 48 teams, FIFA has to find a new system.

It has been almost six years since FIFA voted in January 2017 to change the size of the World Cup and approved a format where the 48 teams would be divided into 16 groups of three teams, with the top two advancing to a round of 32.

But this would mean that the two teams in the final group match could play a specific result to send both teams through at the expense of the team not playing, and this has led to a reconsideration. FIFA has even floated the prospect of putting a penalty shootout at the end of every group stage tie, but even that wouldn't overcome teams playing a specific scoreline that suited both.

On Sunday, Wenger told a press conference to FIFA's technical study group that three options were under consideration. In addition to the three-team option, another suggestion is that there would be 12 four-team groups, with the best third-placed teams advancing to the top two. A third option is to split the World Cup into two separate halves of 24, each with six groups of four teams. The winner of each half would meet in the final.

"This is not decided yet", Wenger said. "but it will be 16 groups of three, 12 groups of four, or two games of six groups of four.

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Date published: 28-12-2022 16:34 | Date modified: 28-12-2022 | Author: Patrick de Graaf


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The set-up of the 2026 World Cup with 16 groups of 3 teams is not yet final. FIFA is investigating how to prevent teams from agreeing.

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