FIFA officilly confirmed that 37 council members have unanimously approved Gianni Infantino’s plan for a 48-team World Cup. The 37-member council chose Infantino’s plan above four other options, one of which was to leave the tournament in its current 32-team format.
The new FIFA approved structure will feature 16 groups of three followed by a 32-team knockout and each top two teams will progress and this proposal is scheduled to be implemented in time for the 2026 finals.
FIFA president Infantino put World Cup expansion at the top of his agenda when he was installed as president Sepp Blatter’s replacement in 2016, and a number of proposals were put forward.
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 Media (@fifamedia) January 10, 2017