The FIFA Council have unanimously voted to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams.
The decision has been taken by the non-executive and strategic body of 34 FIFA members.
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
The changes, which will come into effect in 2026, mark the first World Cup expansion since 1998 and will see 16 groups of three compete for a place in a 32-team knockout section.
The number of tournament matches will rise to 80 over 32 days (an increase from 64) but the finalists will continue to play seven games.
This decision is expected to boost football activity even more all over the world.
“There is nothing bigger in terms of boosting football in a country than participating in a World Cup.” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.