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OFFICIAL: World Cup to be increased to 48 teams from 2026

The Fifa World Cup will be increased to a 48 team tournament from 2026, it has been announced.

The tournament has had 32 teams since it increased in size for the 1998 France World Cup, and the world footballing governing has voted to increase the size of the competition to include 16 additional teams.

There will be 16 groups of three team, which will lead to a knockout stage for the remaining 32 teams left in the tournament.

80 matches will be played across the month-long competition, but fear not – the winners will still only play seven games across the tournament, allaying fears of burnout for an overly intense schedule.

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It has not been decided where the tournament will be held, with Russia hosting the 2018 competition and Qatar controversially being handed the 2022 tournament.

The move is likely to cause some debate, with some arguing that it will saturate the tournament, but Fifa president Gianni Infantino has said it will make the tournament more ‘inclusive’.

He said: “There is nothing bigger in terms of boosting football in a country than participating in a World Cup.”

On a totally unrelated note, Fifa also estimate that an increased World Cup will increase their profits by almost half a billion pounds.


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