FIFA has confirmed that the 2026 World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams and will feature a new round of a last-32 knockout stage.
Why it matters
This is the first time the World Cup will feature 48 teams, and the expansion is expected to generate more revenue for FIFA. The decision to stick with four-team groups instead of moving to three was made to mitigate the risk of collusion and ensure all teams play a minimum of three matches.
What the papers say
Sources agree on the key details of the expansion and the decision to stick with four-team groups, but differ in their emphasis on the reasons for the expansion and the potential impact on player welfare.
How we got here
The decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams was made in 2017, and the 2026 tournament will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
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