FIFA FIFA To Continue Four Team Group Stage In 2026 World Cup

FIFA has confirmed that the 2026 World Cup will continue to include a four-team group stage rather than switching to three teams.

The plan was to have 16 groups of three teams because the number of competing teams in the following edition of the event in the United States, Mexico, and Canada will rise from 32 to 48.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar’s thrilling group stage is thought to have spurred a change of heart, and it is now official that the four-team groups will continue, with the top two teams in each group and the eight best third-place teams advancing to the knockout stage.

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According to a statement on FIFA’s website, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the proposed change to the FIFA World Cup 2026 competition format from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four, with the top two and eight best third-place teams moving on to a round of 32.

This was done after a thorough review that took into account sporting integrity, player welfare, team travel, commercial and sporting attractiveness, as well as team and fan experience.

“The revised format mitigates the risk of collusion and ensures that all the teams play a minimum of three matches, while providing balanced rest time between competing teams

It was also declared at FIFA’s council meeting in Rwanda that the next men’s World Cup final will take place on Sunday, July 19, 2026 as the men’s international calendar from 2025-2030 was confirmed.

Further information will be “released in the coming days,” although FIFA was able to confirm some of the major facts from the calendar, such as intentions to start having a 16-day, four-match international window in late September or early October from 2026.

The women’s international calendar for 2024–2025 would “contain six international windows per year,” it was also revealed.


Henry Usiayo is a practicing journalists with several years of experience covering sport events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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