This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

FIFA executives in talks for 40-team World Cup starting in 2026 as part of reform package

ZURICH — The FIFA executive committee could expand the World Cup to 40 teams starting at the 2026 tournament.

According to a document seen by The Associated Press, the plan to add eight teams and 32 matches is part of the reform proposals being considered Thursday. If accepted, it can become FIFA policy without the approval of the 209 member federations.

The 2026 bidding should start next year with the United States, Canada and Mexico the expected candidates. The U.S. would likely be the favourite for a tournament needing a minimum 12 stadiums for a 96-match World Cup.

The probable format would be eight five-team groups, with the top two advancing to the round of 16.

The 40-team World Cup was first suggested by UEFA President Michel Platini in 2013.

The Associated Press

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact support@huffpost.com.