FIFA is considering introducing a crazy new rule for 2026 World Cup matches

Already much criticized for having increased the 2026 World Cup to 48 teams, FIFA is not stingy in terms of decried innovations. The Athletic we also learn that for the next World Cup, the football governing body would consider introducing a new rule for the group stage. As a reminder, the passage to 48 selections would imply the passage of the formula “8 hens of 4” to “16 hens of 3” with the establishment of sixteenth finals (the first 2 of each group would be qualified). Even if the official position of Fifa remains unchanged, several sources including The Guardian claim, as such, that there were “informal discussions” and “hallway conversations” in Doha on the benefits of staging the competition with 12 groups of four teams rather than 16 groups of three.

If, with such a format, the World Cup 2026 could then reach a total of 104 matches if the first two of each group, as well as the eight best teams classified third, qualify for the knockout stage, FIFA is also considering d Other innovations… To add a little spice, the body could decide to allocate bonus points during the group phase. Thus, in the event of a draw, there would be a penalty shootout and the winning team would therefore be awarded one point more than its opponent. This session could even be held before the kick-off of the match. The reason ? If it is held after the meeting, the risks of manipulation of the result would be high.