The Fifa World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams, up from the current 32, with the governing body making the move official, reported BBC. Fifa voted for the change at a meeting in Zurich on Tuesday. The change will come into effect from the 2026 World Cup. The move will be welcomed by African and Asian countries, who are expecting their World Cup quota to go up from the current four spots apiece, reported The Guardian.
This is how the tournament will be structured: An initial stage of 16 groups of three teams each will precede a knockout round, which will feature the top teams from each group. The number of matches will rise to 80 from 64, but the group winners will still play a maximum of only seven games.
The tournament will be completed within 32 days to ensure that European clubs are happy with the approval. European clubs disagreed with the reform owing to a crowded international schedule. The changes mark the first World Cup expansion since 1998, when the number of teams increased from 24 to 32.