For the first time, football’s greatest tournament will be held across three host nations — the United States, Canada and Mexico
Forty- eight brigades, three host countries, and potentially further than 100 games. After successfully carrying the most compact World Cup in history, FIFA is now preparing to organise the biggest. The dust had slightly settled on Sunday’s FIFA World Cup final before attention turned to the gargantuan figure of 2026 brewing on the horizon. For the first time, football’s topmost event will be held across three host nations– the United States, Canada and Mexico. The event will specially see an expansion to 48 brigades, over from the current 32- platoon format that has been in place since 1998, and double the number of brigades that took part in the last World Cup held on US or Mexican soil.
The enlarged competition represents a triumph for FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who made expanding the World Cup a precedence after taking over as world football’s supremo in 2016.
The 16- platoon increase marks the biggest expansion in the World Cup’s elaboration.
From 13 brigades at the initial event in 1930, the tests remained a 16- platoon event from 1934 to 1978, before adding to 24 in 1982.
The biggest heirs of the expansion to 48 brigades will be Africa and Asia.
Under the new format, Africa will admit nine qualifying places for the tests( compared to five preliminarily) while Asia will nearly double to eight( from4.5 places).
Oceania, traditionally forced to contend for a World Cup place via a playoff, will admit an automatic qualifying situation.
“For us Africans, it’s heaven transferred,” said former Nigeria transnational Sunday Oliseh.
(Africa) should shoot further representatives– the further time you play, the further your chances are.
“It’s a mainland of over a billion people. My country is 200 million people.
“For us it’s fascinating to see a bigger, larger World Cup.”
The expanded African contingent is welcome news for some of the region’s bootstrappers. Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria were all squeezed out of the Qatar tests during qualifiers.
Europe’s representation will also be boosted, up to 16 brigades from 13, while South America increases from4.5 qualifying places to six.
With Canada, United States and Mexico qualifying as hosts, CONCACAF will have a further three spots, for a aggregate of six brigades from the region.
Two fresh places will be decided by playoff.
What this expansion means for the event format remains to be seen.
FIFA originally indicated that it favoured 16 groups of three brigades, with the top two in each group advancing to a 32- platoon knockout stage.
But the success of the four- platoon group first phase in Qatar– where several groups went down to the line– has urged a rethink.
Infantino told journalists on Friday that FIFA now plans to” readdress” the three- platoon group format.
The likeliest 2026 script is 12 groups of four, with the top two brigades advancing to the knockout rounds along with the eight stylish third- place finishers.
That format still would mean 104 matches– over from the 64 in Qatar– while a platoon reaching the final would be needed to play eight games.
The number of venues for the tests will twice, from eight colosseums in Qatar to 16.
Eleven venues will be in the US, with three in Mexico and two in Canada.
All of the US games are taking place in venues used by NFL brigades, with colosseums similar as the$ 5 billion SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and the New York titans’,000- seater Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford sloped to host the final.
The bulk of the games– including all matches from the knockout rounds onwards– will be held in the United States.
Given the geographical spread of the event, FIFA is studying grounding the brigades in indigenous clusters to minimise trip.
“When you are dealing with such a large region as North America we need to watch about the suckers and make sure that brigades are playing in clusters, that suckers and brigades do not have to travel crazy distances,” Infantino said before this time.
Infantino says FIFA expects a huge increase in earnings from the expanded World Cup.
Earnings in the four- time cycle leading up to 2026 are projected to increase to$ 11 billion– over from$7.5 billion in the cycle ending in 2022.
“We’re bullish about the power of football,” Infantino said.” We’re induced the impact of the game will be massive. Know More News…