Media: FIFA may again revise the format of the group stage of the 2026 World Cup

Marca: FIFA may again revise the format of the 2026 World Cup group stage

MOSCOW, 3 Dec – The leadership of the International Football Federation (FIFA) may revise the previously adopted new format for the group stage of the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, according to Marca.
The final part of the 2026 World Cup should host 48 teams, not 32, as in the tournament in Qatar. In 2017, FIFA approved a format in which 48 participants will be divided into 16 groups of three teams each. The two best teams will advance to the 1/16 finals.
Now, as the source notes, FIFA has received a request to hold the group stage according to a different scheme, where there will be 12 groups of four teams each, and two teams from the first two places will advance to the 1/16 finals, as well as eight best teams from among those who took third place in the quartets. FIFA bosses intend to consider this option after the end of the World Cup in Qatar.
According to the source, FIFA should be prompted to change the format of the 2026 World Cup by the matches of the third round of the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar, in many of which the fate of a ticket to the playoffs was decided in the last minutes.

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