Will The World Cup’s new format be a success?

Some big changes are coming to the World Cup format. Back in 2023, the FIFA council approved a brand-new structure, marking the first change of any kind since the 1998 World Cup.

These changes have sparked an explosive conversation amongst the global football community, with some in favour of them and others highly critical.

The 2026 World Cup format explained

The 2026 World Cup will feature:

12 groups of 4 teams

104 games

The top two teams from each group along with the eight best third-placed teams will then progress to a brand-new round of 32. From there, it will be the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final. The official location for the final has yet to be decided.

Traditional World Cups feature 32 teams and 64 matches, so fans will get to enjoy a lot more games at the 2026 World Cup than usual. However, some critics (as well as managers) are concerned that this is bad for player welfare and will also lead to an oversaturation of games. This is something that FIFA has commented on.

The revised format mitigates the risk of collusion and ensures that all the teams play a minimum of three matches while providing balanced rest time between competing teams.

 FIFA 🗣️

Although there are some downsides to the new format, there are some major positives, too. Let’s anaylse why the new World Cup format could be a major success.

👀 More games to watch in stadiums and on TV

Most football fans around the world will be extremely happy throughout summer 2026 due to the simple fact that they’ll be more World Cup games than ever to watch. For decades, fans have been complaining that World Cups are too short, so this will certainly go a long way to providing fans with exactly what they’ve been asking for.

🤞 Exciting betting opportunities

Around $35 billion was wagered on the 2022 FIFA World Cup. With the 2026 World Cup, you can expect that figure to be even higher as people place exciting bets on underdog teams, top scorers, tournament winners, and more. Throughout 2026, most budget conscious fans can be using sites like those featured on Minimum Deposit Betting Sites to place their World Cup bets on a budget.

🥳 Feel-good stories

Every four years, feel-good stories and amazing moments take place at the World Cup. Who could forget when Costa Rica won their group in 2014? Or when Croatia somehow made it all the way to the 2018 World Cup Final? It’s moments like these that make football the beautiful game — and you can expect plenty more to come at the 2026 World Cup.

⬆️ Increased revenue

FIFA expects to earn a staggering $11 billion from the 2026 World Cup due to the increased number of games. This is great news for the sport and will also enable FIFA to spend more money on future developments and projects, which fans will benefit from.

2026 World Cup: Final Thoughts

There’s plenty to be optimistic about when it comes to the 2026 World Cup. From more games to increased revenue, the positives far outweigh the negatives, which is why the new format is almost certainly going to be a success.

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