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Rediff.com  » Sports » FIFA to expand World Cup teams to 48. Do you support the move?

FIFA to expand World Cup teams to 48. Do you support the move?

January 11, 2017 09:09 IST

Fans watch the 2014 World Cup match featuring Spain vs Netherlands

IMAGE: Fans watch the 2014 World Cup match featuring Spain vs Netherlands (Image used for representational purposes). Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The FIFA Council has decided to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino's revamp plan receiving unanimous backing.

The new format will be made up of 16 groups of three teams.

"The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026: 16 groups of 3 teams. Details to follow after the meeting," FIFA tweeted on its official media department Twitter handle on Tuesday.

This is for the first time since the 1998 World Cup that changes have been made to the makeup of the tournament.

According to the Guardian, the FIFA boss's preferred option for change was the 2026 World Cup featuring the 16 groups followed by a 32-team knockout round, increasing the number of games from 64 to 80 but remaining inside a 32-day schedule.

Infantino has been repeatedly saying that his main motivation for expansion is to give more nations a chance of experiencing the joy of a World Cup, which will bolster international football in developed markets and help its growth in new ones.