At the 2026 FIFA World Cup, in which 48 countries will participate for the first time, they will be divided into groups of four each, as before, Fifa confirmed.
At its meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the FIFA Council made the decision to maintain groups of four instead of groups with three national teams each. They were led to this mainly by some extremely exciting meetings in the last round of the preliminary competition at the recent WC in Qatar. It means that instead of the initially planned 80 matches, 104 matches will be played at the 2026 World Cup.
The first- and second-placed teams from the 12 groups and the eight best third-placed teams will advance to the 1/16 finals, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals as usual.
First, it was planned that 48 national teams would play in 16 groups of three teams each.
The championship will be hosted by the USA, Mexico and Canada in 16 cities. The opening will be on June 11, and the final on July 19, 2026.