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FIFA approves radical changes to the 2026 World Cup format



FIFA approves radical changes to the 2026 World Cup format

The FIFA Council has made the decision to change the format of the 2026 World Cup from 16 three-team groups to 12 four-team groups.

This marks a return to the four-team group format that was used at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and is expected to reduce any risk of collusion among teams throughout the competition.

Each team will now have to win eight matches to take home the title, as opposed to seven in previous years, and a total of 104 matches across 39 days will be played.

To account for this increase in length, FIFA also reduced the pre-tournament release period from 23 to 16 days.

The simultaneous closing round of games should ensure fairness and add an extra dose of excitement in what surely will be an unforgettable event.

The allocations of guaranteed places in the 2026 FIFA World Cup for each confederation are as follows:
– Eight guaranteed places for the AFC
– Nine guaranteed places for the CAF
– Six guaranteed places for the CONCACAF
– Six guaranteed places for the CONMEBOL
– 16 guaranteed places for the UEFA
– One guaranteed place for the OFC

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