FIFA Deliberating New Format For 2026 World Cup

World Cup trophy in the soccer goals. Photo by Rhett Lewis on Unsplash
World Cup trophy. Photo by Rhett Lewis on Unsplash

FIFA’s chief of global football Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the global football body is still undecided on the format of the 2026 World Cup that is set to take place in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This comes after the decision to expand the tournament from 32 teams to 48 teams.

Initially, FIFA planned to organize a tournament with 16 groups consisting of three teams each, however, this format appears to have a major flaw, namely that the two teams involved in the final group fixture could play out a result that benefits the two of them at the expense of the one not playing.

Wenger stated on Sunday that the FIFA technical study group is currently evaluating three options. In addition to the three-team group option, they are also considering 12 groups of four teams, where the best third-placed teams advance with the top two to the knockouts. The third option is to split the World Cup into two halves of 24 teams, whereby the winners of each half meet in the final.

According to Wenger, the format of the tournament will be decided in the next year.