An insight into The World Cup 2026 – Part Two

The World Cup

So, as previously discussed in part one the World Cup in 2026 will have 48 sides and the new system has confused many for multiple reasons, not only will the World Cup be hosted by three countries for the first time but as mentioned it will be the first time 48 sides will enter the competition.


Before I get on with this article, if you haven’t read the first part, please read it here – A look into the future World Cup 2026 Part 1

Location, Location, Location:

Despite it being a three nation hosted campaign the majority of the games will be held in the United States with no less than 17 grounds been put forward to host games with the final expected to be held in Rose Bowl, Los Angeles with a massive 92,000 fans crammed in to the stadium that hosted the final of the 1994 World Cup between Brazil and Italy.

Mexico will only have 3 cities being used for the World Cup, Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara will host games. Mexico previously hosted their own World Cups in 1970 and in 1986 and had originally planned to run solo for a chance to win the rights to host the World Cup.

Canada will possibly be entering just their second World Cup campaign with their previous visit during the Mexico World Cup in 1986 where they crashed out without winning a game and are yet to return. Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton will all host games  in 2026.


The Format:

The format of the competition doesn’t change much, currently the 32 sides go into 8 groups of 4 with the best 2 sides continuing to the round of 16 were they enter a knockout system to see who will win the most cherished trophy in world football.

The new format will see 16 groups for the first time, each group will have 3 sides and two of those sides will qualify for the round of 32, from there the sides will play knockout style games to find the winner of the World Cup.

Negatives of the new system:

Sadly, there are a few things that go against the new system, 3 teams to a group mean that sadly one side will go home after just two games , as well as this another major issue is that we could see the last game becoming redundant due to one team already having finished their campaign as shown below:

Team A vs Team B

Team B vs Team C

Team C vs Team A

This meaning if team A and team C have both beaten team B they will therefore be through and will have a dead rubber result game, or one side might be more settled with a draw and thus slowing the game down and reducing the spectacle of the World Cup.

Early indication seems to hint that the knockout round will not be seeded and therefore names will be pulled from a hat, this has been widely disagreed with because many experts are concerned that “big games” will happen to early in the competition which could weaken the latter stages of the competition.

A negative argument that some people in the world of football are claiming is the amount of games in the tournament (80) will lead to more “ boring games” and some people are moaning about the “lesser” nations that will enter the tournament will bring the quality of the competition down.


Naturally, 48 sides entering the World Cup means there is more room for new teams to qualify for the first time or for the first time in a while, based on current FIFA rankings teams like El- Salvador ,Burkina Faso and DR Congo would all qualify for the biggest party in football and play some giants of the game possibly for the first time in their existence.

Not only is it suddenly much easier to qualify for some of those sides it is also a lot easier to qualify out of the group stage, with 2/3 sides getting a spot in the knockout round sides like Senegal, USA & Japan all have a much higher chance to progress through the tournament even with a lottery draw they could go even further with a lucky draw.

The concerns people have about fatigue due to the amount of games have been silenced, as the winners will still only play 7 games as they do currently in the World Cup and will also get a wider gap between games. They will have more rest days than recent World Cup campaigns.

So, World Cup 2026 will have a big effect on the future and will be an eye opening campaign for Football’s governing body. Many people expect the system to fail but with many countries getting the opportunity to step onto the global stage, surely good things will come when all our eyes head to North America for World Cup 2026.

Other articles you may enjoy –

You may also like our one to watch articles, where we have released an article focusing on one player from each nation at the World Cup and why we think they will be influential for their represented nations. – One to Watch for all Nations in World Cup 2018

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