FIFA Votes To Expand World Cup To 48 Teams
The world’s football governing body has expanded World Cup participating teams from 32 to 48 teams following votes by delegates.
An initial stage of 16 groups of three teams will precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32 when the change is made for the 2026 tournament.
The sport’s world governing body on Tuesday voted unanimously in favour of the change at a meeting in Zurich.
The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.
The tournament will be completed within 32 days – a measure to appease powerful European clubs, who objected to reform because of a crowded international schedule.
Meanwhile, former France and Chelsea captain, Marcel Desailly says potential hosts of future world cups will not be put off by the increased costs associated with an expanded tournament.
Former Manchester United striker, Dwight Yorke, admitted the expanded tournament would benefit smaller nations, he stressed concerns that the quality of games could decrease with more nations competing.