With 48 Teams Taking Part: How The World Cup Will Look Like In 2026?
Following the conclusion of the 2023 FIFA World Cup which ended with an epic final showdown between Argentina and France with Lionel Messi finally capturing the one title that had escaped his grasp in an illustrious career, there will be much clamor and anticipation for the next edition of the major sporting spectacle.
As a result, we have already seen a buzz regarding the 2026 edition, with fans all around the world starting to chat about what we could potentially expect to see in four years’ time.
One for the History Books
The 2026 FIFA World Cup is a major international event that will take place in North America. It will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and will feature 48 teams from all over the world vying for the title of world champions. With so many teams taking part, and the tournament taking place on three continents, it is sure to be an exciting event, but what can we expect from this unique tournament?
Let’s take a look at what we can expect from the World Cup in 2026.
More Teams, More Matches
The biggest change that comes with the World Cup 2026 is more teams taking part. This means more countries competing for a chance to become world champions and more matches to watch! While 32 teams have been participating since 1998, the number of teams was increased to 48 after much consideration by FIFA. This move will not only increase viewership and profits but also give small countries an opportunity to compete on an international level.
Indeed, with more matches and more teams competing, we could potentially see as many shocks as we saw in this year’s edition in Qatar. If you needed reminding of some of the biggest shocks, it is certainly worth your time to click here and look back on the incredible results that had been witnessed. Many would not have expected Saudi Arabia to have shocked Argentina in the tournament’s first game for both sides, with many likely to have found it hard to back the South Americans to become the world champions after that shock.
New Opportunities to see New Nations
With the expansion of the tournament to 48 teams, fans will be able to witness sides that they have never seen before in the World Cup. With some nations having the potential to make their first-ever appearance, it is certainly worth keeping an eye out for which countries could potentially cause major shocks in order to reach the final and compete for glory.
This could mean more teams from African and Asian countries competing, with numerous nations having the potential to go far in the tournament. And of course, with more countries in contention, it could potentially mean more matches being available for viewing around the world.
As a result of the additional nations that are possible to compete in the 2026 FIFA World Cup, there has been modifications to the number of countries that will be able to qualify for the upcoming edition, with each region able to have more representatives playing in North America.
Asia and Africa have been given the greater increase in regard to the allocation, as both regions have been provided with an additional four places each, thus taking their totals to eight and nine respectively. Europe will be able to have an additional three teams in the competition as they increase to 16, whereas the teams from the CONCACAF region will be able to have six teams instead of three.
South America will receive an extra two places while Oceania will receive just a further one spot at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, thus giving them two places. The full breakdown as per ESPN has been included below…
- Asia: 8 (+4)
- Africa: 9 (+4)
- North, Central America, and Caribbean: 6 (+3)
- Europe: 16 (+3)
- South America: 6 (+2)
- Oceania: 1 (+1)
The new format of the tournament will consist of 16 groups of three teams each playing against one another in a round-robin format. After that, 32 of those 48 teams will advance to a knockout stage which ultimately leads up to the final match between two competitors vying for the title of world champions. This new format allows for more games and gives every team a fair shot at advancing through each stage – something that was not previously possible due to limited space.
The use of technology has already been integral in modern football matches but with the World Cup 2026, there is likely going to be an even greater emphasis on its application during play. Advanced video replays as well as improved AI-powered tools such as goal-line technology are just some of the ways technology can help make this tournament more accurate and exciting than ever before! Additionally, stadiums across several continents are being equipped with tech-enabled features such as LED lighting and digital advertising boards that bring football fans closer than ever before to their favorite players and teams.
With four years still to go before this huge sporting event, it would be difficult not to assume that there are other technological advancements and innovations available that could potentially be experienced at the upcoming competition, too! With the rate in which these are developed, what is new now could be considered old by the time the World Cup takes place.
Excitement is building all around the world ahead of one of football’s biggest tournaments –the World Cup 2026! With 48 teams taking part, a new format, and improved technology making it easier than ever before to watch your favorite team compete against others from all over the globe; it promises to be an event like no other! Whether you are rooting for your home country or just excited about watching some great football; get ready because it is sure to be one wild ride when it takes place in four years’ time!