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FIFA increases World Cup teams to 48, aims to earn £800m more

The FIFA Council has unanimously voted in favour of a 48-team World Cup from 2026 on Tuesday.

The 2026 World Cup will feature 48 teams after the FIFA Council unanimously voted to expand the competition.

The World Cup will retain its present 32-team format up to the 2022 edition in Qatar.

The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.

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Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president says his motivation for expansion is to give more countries a chance of experiencing the World Cup, which will bolster international football in developed markets and assist the growth in emerging areas.

A 48-team tournament could bring in an extra £800million more in broadcasting, commercial and match-day revenue, according to research from FIFA.

Last expansion to the World Cup was in 1998 when it was expanded from 24 to 32 teams.

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