Possible World Cup 2026 with 48 countries in 16 groups

The 2026 World Cup may be played by as many as 48 countries, if it is up to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The plan is to divide the participants into 16 groups of 3 countries. Earlier, Infantino indicated that he was investigating whether the number of participants in the World Football Championship could be expanded.

The proposal is to allow 2 of the 3 countries to advance to the next round during the group stage. The 32 qualified countries will then immediately play knockout matches.

The level of professional football is getting higher and there are almost no 'small football countries'; more. The smaller countries are increasingly responsible for special stunts. By expanding the number of participants in the Football World Cup, smaller countries also get the chance to shine in a global main tournament.

Earlier, Infantino had already expressed his preference for a football tournament with 40 countries instead of the current one. set up with 32 countries. On 9 and 10 January 2017, FIFA will consider their president's proposal at a meeting.

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Date published: 19-12-2016 18:00 | Date modified: 19-12-2016 | Author: Patrick de Graaf


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The 2026 World Cup may be played by 48 countries, with the participants divided into 16 groups of 3 countries. FIFA will decide in January 2017.

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