FIFA has voted to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from its current 32, brushing aside concerns that the expansion would lower the overall standard of the tournament, and make it too long and unwieldy.

Soccer’s governing body said on its Twitter feed that the FIFA Council, its decision-making panel, had voted unanimously in favor of the change which will be introduced at the 2026 tournament.

The new format will include a first round of 16 groups of three teams, FIFA said, with further details to be given later.

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