In football, rules and regulations seem to be changing all the time, and now it seems like the World Cup format could be given a shake ahead of 2026’s historic edition.
The tournament, which will be the first ever to have 48 nations taking part – double the number of teams there are now – will be jointly hosted by the USA, Canada, and Mexico who have all been eliminated from this year’s World Cup with the latter two heading out in the group stages.
With this increase in teams comes FIFA’s idea to consider a trio of different format changes for the next competition:
- 16 groups of three teams, with the top two going through
- 12 groups of four teams, with the top two going through along with the eight best 3rd-placed teams
- Six groups of four in two halves of 24
This news, released by Arsene Wenger, has created mixed reactions from fans with some saying there will be too many matches being played.
It’s ridiculous. But so is a 48 team wc. Even with 12 groups of 4. Will end up with 8 3rd place teams going through. So teams won’t even know if they are through after they play. And then a last 32! Far too many games
— marc brooks (@brunobrooks1) December 2, 2022
Wenger, who is now FIFA’s chief of global football says nothing has been decided as of yet regarding the new format, but it will be one of the three listed above.
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The former Arsenal manager, 73, believes a decision will be made on the format in the next year.