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The 2026 World Cup will be the biggest in history

The rumors of the New York Times expert journalist, Tariq Panja, have been confirmed: a new format for the 2026 World Cup (to be held between Mexico, the United States, and Canada) was approved in the Fifa Governing Council . Here are all the details.

The competition will consist of 104 matches and 48 teams will participate. The Fifa Governing Council has, in fact, unanimously approved the proposal to change the format of the review. The rounds will remain four-team and there will be 12 instead of 16 three-team groups as first thought.

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The 2026 World Cup will be the biggest in history
The rumors of the New York Times expert journalist, Tariq Panja, have been confirmed: a new format for the 2026 World Cup (to be held between Mexico, the United States, and Canada) was approved at the FIFA board meeting .
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40 more games than in 2022
FIFA has approved a new World Cup forma : under the latest changes, 40 more matches will be played compared to those played in Qatar 2022.
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48 national teams
The number of participating teams will rise from the current 32 (as it has since 1998) to 48. From the northernmost and westernmost point, Vancouver, to the easternmost point, Boston, and ending at the southern limit represented by Mexico City. Almost 5,000 km as the crow flies.
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104 races in 40 days
With the addition of 24 matches to the originally planned 80, the World Cup will feature a total of 104 competitions (40 more than the last edition in Qatar) for a total duration of 40 days. Teams that make it to the semifinals will play 8 matches instead of the classic 7.
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New profits for FIFA
FIFA projected revenues of $11 billion in the four-year cycle ending with the 2026 World Cup, nearly $4 billion more than it collected in the same time frame ended with the World Cup in Qatar.
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When will the final be played?
The FIFA Council  announced that the 2026 World Cup final will be played on Sunday, July 19, 2026. Based on the new schedule, the mandatory stoppage period starts on May 25, 2026, after the last official club match on May 24, 2026 (exceptions may apply to the final matches of confederal club competitions until May 30, 2026 through FIFA approval).
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