With the FIFA Council unanimously voting in favor of a 48-team World Cup from 2026 onwards there are plenty of questions on how it will all work.
[ MORE: World Cup expansion confirmed ]
Here are a few answers to those, as we map out exactly what changes will take place.
Are you with us?
Okay. Here we go…
- Increase from 32 to 48 teams at 2026 World Cup
- Number of overall games will increase from 64 to 80
- 16 groups of three teams each
- Each team will play twice in group stage
- If a group stage game ends in a draw, penalty shootouts to decide who gets a bonus point could be introduced
- Top two teams go through from each group to a Round of 32
- Round of 32 will be straight-elimination, and then Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinal, final
- Teams will only play a maximum of seven games if they reach the final, the same as in the 32-team format
- The tournament will only last 32 days, the same amount of time as the 2014 World Cup
- Four extra teams from Asian and African confederations will quality, while three more teams from Europe will also quality
- CONCACAF is likely to move up from 3.5 to 6.5 teams (.5 signifying a playoff spot) plus 6 of the 10 teams from the CONMEBOL region will qualify