FIFA confirm plans to expand World Cup to 48 teams

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The 2026 World Cup will feature 48 teams after the FIFA Council unanimously voted to expand the competition.

Four proposals were put forward to expand the competition, with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino’s suggestion of a 48-team contest featuring 16 groups of three teams getting the nod at a vote in Zurich.

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Infantino says his motivation for expansion is to give more countries a chance of experiencing the World Cup, which will bolster international football in developed markets and assist the growth in emerging areas.

A 48-team tournament could bring in an extra £800million more in broadcasting, commercial and match-day revenue, according to research from FIFA.

A decision on who will host the 2026 tournament will not be made until 2026, with the United States the favourite to win the right.