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Last Updated Tuesday September 26 2017 06:44 AM IST

FIFA to expand World Cup to 48 teams from 2026

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FIFA World Cup trophy

Zurich: Football's world governing body FIFA has said it will expand the World Cup to 48 teams, adding 16 extra nations from the 2026 tournament.

President Gianni Infantino's favored plan for 16 three-team groups with the top two advancing to a round of 32 was unanimously approved by the FIFA Council.

Read also: FIFA Awards: Cristiano Ronaldo named player of the year

It meets Infantino's election pledge of a bigger World Cup.

With 80 matches instead of 64, FIFA forecasts $1 billion extra income from broadcasting and sponsor deals, plus ticket sales, compared to $5.5 billion forecast for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

FIFA's six continents should find out by May how many extra places they will get. UEFA wants 16 European teams in the tournament, which will likely be held in North America.

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