The International Football Association (FIFA) announced that the 2026 World Cup will feature 48 national teams rather than the traditional 32.

The world football governing body announced this expansion today, Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

The next World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, will feature 48 teams for the first time. This is a significant increase from the 32 football nations who competed in last year’s tournament in Qatar.

“The revised format mitigates the risk of collusion and ensures that all the teams play a minimum of three matches. while allowing for balanced rest periods between competing teams,” FIFA stated on its website.

That means there will be 104 games. A significant increase over the 64 games played in the 2022 tournament, and an increase even over the original plan for the 2026 World Cup, which called for 80 matches.

Argentina is the current world cup champion, having won in Qatar last December.

Lionel Messi, who went on to win the tournament’s player of the tournament award, led their historic feat.