Updated: 01 August 2023
FIFA World Cup 2026 Will Have 104 Matches With 48 Teams To Feature. The FIFA World Cup 2026 will have 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 games due to the expanded format, with 48 teams taking part in football’s governing body, the International Federation Of International Football (FIFA), said on March 14 ahead of its congress in Kigali, Rwanda.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup due to take place from 8 June- 3 July co-hosted by USA, Canada & Mexico will expand from 32 to 48 teams. The new format will consist of 12 groups of four teams each, FIFA confirmed on March 14.
The new format means the top two teams in each group will make it to the knockout round along with the eight best third-ranked sides. As a result, the finalists of the tournament and the teams finishing third and fourth will play a total of eight matches instead of the current seven.
As a hosts USA, Canada and Mexico directly qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026 rest 45 teams will be decided by the FIFA qualifier matches which will take place from Sep 2023 to Mar 2026.
Generally, the top two teams from each group advance to the last 16 but FIFA 2026 will also have the eight best third-placed teams moving into the knockout round of 32.
Qatar World Cup 2022 had a total of 64 games that ended in 29 days. There were only 24 teams last time Mexico (1986) and America (1994) hosted the FIFA World Cup.
The 16 host cities of the FIFA World Cup 2026– 11 in the USA, three in Mexico, and two in Canada – now have 24 extra matches.
Adding about 1.5 million more tickets will also boost FIFA’s expected record revenue of at least $11bn through 2026 from a tournament that will rely on using high-revenue National Football League (NFL) stadiums.
FIFA also announced the compulsory release date for players to be made available to their respective national teams by their clubs will be May 25, a day after premier leagues must play their final pre-World Cup matches.