FIFA approves 2026 World Cup format with record 104 matches

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will consist of 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 games due to an expanded 48-team format, football’s global governing body FIFA said on Tuesday ahead of its congress in Kigali, Rwanda.

Co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, the 2026 tournament will be the first tournament held every four years with 48 teams. The final will take place on July 19.

The new format will also stick with four teams per group after a proposal for 16 groups of three was dropped due to concerns of collusion in the final group game. However, the number of groups will increase from eight to twelve.

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