The United States, Mexico and Canada will host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament. The number of people taking part in the 2026 World Cup will also increase. FIFA will expand from the initial 32 countries to 48 countries.
The Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) is taking steps to organize the World Cup in 2026. There are three different countries to host the World Cup after the initial tournament. The number of participants also broke the 48 national team barrier for the first time.
Apart from choosing the host country, FIFA in its capacity as organizer will also make several adjustments to the rules. Especially regarding the number of teams participating and the type of format used. What new developments have emerged ahead of the World Cup in these three countries in 2026?
Host of the 2026 World Cup
The World Cup will feature a total of 32 teams instead of the usual 32. The quota states that Europe will have the most places available to feature at the World Cup 2026.
Then Asia was represented by eight countries, Africa (nine), North and Central America (six), South America (six) and Oceania (one). If you count all of them, there are only 46 countries that meet the requirements. After that, there will also be an inter-confederation playoff to determine who will take the last two places.
Due to the very high number of competitors, the World Cup 2026tournament format will be slightly different from the previous edition. There are two potential formats that could be used for the FIFA World Cup.
Firstly, there will be a random draw to create 16 groups, and there will be three teams in each group. The round of 16 of the World Cup will be reserved for the first-placed team in the competition in 2026.
Additional Participants and Tournament Formats
The quota for the previous World Cup was 36 people. However, FIFA plans to increase this to 48 people for the 2026 tournament. This addition will result in an increase in the quota for several different zones. Europe only has 16 representatives.
The total number of countries that automatically advance to the next zone is 46 countries. After that, a playoff between the various confederations will be used to determine who gets the two remaining tickets.
In the World Cup 2026, the number of participants will increase from 36 to 48. FIFA will change the format of the tournament to accommodate the increase. Only two different formats are being suggested by FIFA these days.
To be more specific, there are a total of 16 groups with three teams each and 12 groups with four teams each. FIFA will determine the teams that qualify for the round of 16 based on who finishes first in their group.
After that, there will be a total of 12 groups, and the winners from each group will automatically advance to the next round. The best runner-up group will compete for the remaining four tickets in the competition.