FIFA on Tuesday announced that the 2026 World Cup will have 104 matches instead of the typical 64 games due to its expanded format.
The tournament due to take place in North America will expand from 32 to 48 teams. It will consist of 12 groups of four teams each, a change from the originally planned format of 16 groups of three.
“The revised format mitigates the risk of collusion and ensures that all the teams play a minimum of three matches while providing balanced rest time between competing teams,” FIFA said.
Co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, the event will be the first edition of the quadrennial tournament in which 48 teams take part.
The 16 host cities – 11 in the United States, three in Mexico and two in Canada – now have 24 extra games to stage on top of the 80 they already had for the inaugural 48-team tournament.
The confirmed format means the top two nations in each group will go through to the knockout round along with the eight best third-placed sides.