The FIFA World Cup is the most important tournament in Men's soccer. In 2026, it will be the first time ever that three countries are host and that's why Gianni Infantino, the organization's President, is studying three different competition formats for it.
In May of 2020, the United States, Mexico and Canada won the race to hold the 2026 World Cup. It will be the first time with 48 teams fighting against each other for the title as the 32-squad format ends in Qatar 2022.
But as the time to prepare for it approaches, every national team wants to know how will the competition format be. It has been reported that FIFA has three different options and of course it is something never seen before.
Report: FIFA has three different competition formats for the United States, Canada and Mexico 2026 World Cup
As there will be more teams competing for the title, the format needs to change. Nowadays, the 32 squads were divided in eight groups and the best two of each one would go to the Round of 16. That idea will vanish once Qatar 2022 ends.
According to VarskySports, there are three different competition formats that the FIFA is studying for the 2026 World Cup. They must announce it soon alongside the information of how the teams will qualify for it.
The first competition format (and the least supported) is to divide the 48 squads in 16 zones (three per group). The best two would go to the Round of 32.
The second one is similar to the first. Those 48 national teams qualified would be divided in 12 groups (four teams each). In this format, the top two squads from each group will advance directly and the best eight third places will complete the Round of 32.
The last option is to divide the 48 teams in two. Each zone would have 24 squads (six groups with four teams each). There would be a Round of 16 on each side and the winner of each half would face the other for the World Cup title.