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48-team World Cup factbox

FIFA’s ruling council on Tuesday unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.

Here AFP Sports looks at some of the figures behind the new-look format.

— 48 teams: 16 groups of three

— 32-team knock-out round, increasing number of games from 64 to 80 but within the same 32-day schedule in 12 stadia

— Two teams from each group advance to a 32-nation knock-out round

— If a team progresses to the final in 2026, they will have played seven matches, the same number as a 32-team World Cup

— With 48 teams with squads of 23, 1,104 players will head to the 2026 event

— A confidential FIFA report seen by AFP projects a cash boost of $640 million (605 million euros) above projected revenues for next year’s finals in Russia.


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