FIFA World Cup 2026 will host a record 104 matches as 48 teams will compete for the coveted trophy across 12 groups, FIFA announced on Tuesday. The 2026 World Cup will be played across three countries as the USA, Canada and Mexico will host the top football action in three years' time. The decision to have 12 groups of four teams each was taken during a meeting of the FIFA Council ahead of the official FIFA Congress.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will have 48 teams for the first time. There was a plan earlier to have 16 groups of three each but that was put down in the

meeting as 12 groups of four were approved as a better alternative. "The FIFA Council also unanimously made the decision to approve the proposed amendment to the FIFA World Cup 2026 group stage format from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four," the Football body said in a statement.

Also, the body shed light on the format. "The top two teams from each group and the eight best third-place teams from the groups will now progress to the round of 32. Hopefuls will now have to play eight games from the group stage through to the final, rather than seven," it added.
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