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FIFA announces new format for the 2026 World Cup

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  • FIFA announces new format for the 2026 World Cup.
  • People are surprised by the changes to the World Cup.
  • Will the United States, Mexico and Canada be affected?

New format for the 2026 World Cup. The 2026 World Cup hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada will have a new format that the fans aren’t happy about. The competition will be longer than before so more teams will have the opportunity to participate.

On Tuesday FIFA unveiled the new format at a meeting of the Council in Kigali, Rwanda. For the second time in history the World Cup will undergo significant changes. Will the host countries be affected?

New format announced for the 2026 World Cup

New format announced for the 2026 World Cup

Among the changes implemented by the FIFA Council is that the participating teams will be divided into twelve groups of four teams. So the number of teams will be increased considerably from 32 to 48.

By preserving the groups of four teams instead of reducing them to three, the soccer governing body conceived a schedule of 104 games that will cover almost weeks in June and July in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

More teams will compete in 2026

New 2026 World Cup format: Increase the number of teams

This new format will be played as follows: In each group the two best teams in the competition that get the most points will come out and the eight best teams in third place will advance to the round 32.

This will be the first edition of the World Cup with 48 teams competing for the championship. Given this, it has been speculated that the final of the 2026 World Cup, which is hosted by three countries, would be scheduled for July 19, 2026, according to CNN.

Host cities

Host Cities

The World Cup will take place in 16 host cities: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.

FIFA said the changes were a response to «an exhaustive examination that took into account the sporting integrity, the well-being of the players, the displacement of the teams, the commercial and sporting attractiveness, and the enjoyment of the fans.» according to Associated Press.

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