Exploring the Rules Surrounding Algeria’s Exclusion from the 2026 FIFA World Cup
The British newspaper The Athletic has revealed a new system for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in three countries: America, Mexico and Canada.
The FIFA Council is expected to approve this system today.
The new World Cup is expected to feature 48 tournaments for the first time, as the World Cup in Qatar was the last edition to feature 32 teams since the 1998 World Cup in France.
And the number of matches of the tournament will be 104 instead of 64 matches, with 12 groups, each group has 4 teams. The first two teams from each group and the best 8 thirds will advance to the second round of the World Cup, and this reduces the likelihood of collusion between the teams in the last round.
The newspaper explained this with an example at the 1982 World Cup, called “The Shame of Gijón”, when West Germany and Austria effectively “agreed” that the Germans would win by goal because it would exclude Algeria from the group stage, and so FIFA ruled out the idea.
FIFA also decided to reduce the preparation period for the tournament from 23 days for national teams to 16 days, increase the number of days for the tournament to 39 days instead of 28, as was the case in Qatar 2022.
Although there is currently no decision on how to distribute the 104 matches among the three host countries of the World Cup, America, Canada and Mexico in 2026, because under a 16 group system, America would host 60 matches and Canada and Mexico will receive 10 each.
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