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FIFA Approves Expansion Of World Cup Teams

Plans by the President of world footfall governing body (FIFA), Gianni Infantino to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup has been approved.

The 2026 World Cup finals will have 48 teams after the plan was accepted by the sport’s governing body.

The President had earlier expressed optimism that FIFA ruling council will agree to expand the 2026 W0rld Cup to 48 nations, playing in 16 groups of three teams.

The keynotes were 16 groups of three teams, where the top two will go through to the last 32 and the knock-out stage will be from last 32 onwards.

The new formation will see 80 matches in total being played in a 32-day tournament.

Meanwhile, European football governing body, UEFA are requesting for at least 16 places for teams in Europe, while Africa and Asia could see allocation increasing from four places each.

Canada, USA and Mexico are ready to host the finals in 2026.

A vote to expand the World Cup event by 16 teams from its traditional 32 was ratified at Tuesday’s meeting of the FIFA Council in Zurich with Infantino backing the plan for six groups of three, followed by a 32-team knock-out.

Mr. Infantino, prior to his election in February 2016, pledged to enlarge the tournament, a promise designed especially to appeal to the bulk of FIFA’s 211 member associations that never got a chance or rarely qualify for World Cups.

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