FIFA, football’s world governing body on Tuesday announced some big decisions for the upcoming seasons. In the latest decision, FIFA announced the expansion of 2026 Men’s World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in North America. As per the announcement, the expanded 2026 World Cup will feature twelve groups of four teams in a change from the original format of 16 groups of three teams.
This means that the next FIFA World Cup will feature a total of 48 teams from the earlier 32 teams. With 48 teams, the matches will now be 104 from the original 64 games played last in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“The groups of four have been absolutely incredible until the last minute of the last match”, FIFA President Gianni Infantino had earlier said.
In the FIFA Council meeting, which was held in Rwandan capital Kigali, it was also confirmed that the next men’s World Cup final will be played on 19 July 2026 (Sunday).
Among the other decisions, FIFA also announced the new international calendar for 2025-2030 window. A 16-day, four match window is said to be introduced in September-October from 2026 along with a nine-day two-match window in March, June and November.
Talking about the women’s international match calendar 2024-25, it will consist of six international windows per year. The women’s football tournament at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games will be played from 25 July till 10 August.