FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that the international football governing body may not be moving forward with the 48-team plan for the World Cup in 2026.
Before the new announcement, there was a plan to increase the number of teams competing in the tournament by changing the group format from eight groups of four to 16 groups of three.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the World Cup final this Sunday, December 19, Infantino implied that the 48-team plan could still be tweaked further, potentially returning to the tournament’s original format but with added groups to accommodate the new number of sides.
“We are really convinced of the growth; we have been approving a 48-team format with 16 groups of three, where the top two would move into a knockout phase."
“After this World Cup and the success of the groups of four, and looking as well at some other competitions as well, like the Euros, they have been absolutely incredible in the sense that going to the last minute of the last match [to decide] who will go ahead [to the knockout stage],
“So, we have to revisit and discuss if that goes ahead; that is something that will be on the agenda in the next meetings." It is something we need to discuss, whether 16 groups of three or 12 groups of four are better.
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