Are 104 games the way forward for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?
Since FIFA announced the 2026 World Cup is to feature 48 teams organized in 16 three-team groups, a lot of criticism has been raised by fans, media, and researchers.
Since FIFA announced the 2026 World Cup is to feature 48 teams organized in 16 three-team groups, a lot of criticism has been raised by fans, media, and researchers. The most important one perhaps being the possible collusion in the final game of each group.
2026 World Cup
This week in Kigali, Rwanda, in and around its Congress, FIFA will discuss proposals to change the opening group stages of the 2026 World Cup from three to four teams. Mario Guajardo and Alex Krumer, business and economics professors at universities in Norway are specialists in studying formats and schedules for sports competitions. They analyse some of the options available to FIFA.
A notable example of this is known as the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’, the infamous game between West Germany and Austria in 1982, where a win by one or two goals for West Germany would qualify both teams at expense of Algeria. West Germany won 1:0, but both teams were accused of match-fixing because after the first goal was scored, neither of them tried to change the result.