During his closing remarks ahead of the World Cup final between France and Argentina, FIFA president Gianni Infantino claimed that the World Cup in Qatar has been the best ever.
“(There was) unanimous praise from the FIFA council for this World Cup, the unique cohesive power it has shown, thanks to everyone involved – of course Qatar, all the volunteers who work for us and everyone who has contributed to make this World Cup the best World Cup ever,” said Infantino.
“We are really convinced of the growth, we have been approving a 48-team format with 16 groups of three where the top two would move into a knockout phase,” said Infantino.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and FIFA Legends came together in Doha this evening to pay their respects to Siniša Mihajlović, who passed away today at the age of 53.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 16, 2022
Infantino said that the World Cup has shown a “unique, cohesive power” and thanked “all the workers and the volunteers involved, for helping to make it the best World Cup ever”.
“We had 3.27m spectators (in the stadiums)…We played 62 matches without incidents, with a very joyful atmosphere. Two matches to go … I say to everyone [involved in the tournament] who is receiving praise…focus until the end,” he added.
With the most compact World Cup ever reaching a climax on Sunday in Qatar, the baton will be passed to 2026 co-hosts the United States, Mexico and Canada for what will be a super-sized global soccer showcase with more games and travel – and much more beer.
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After controversially awarding 2022 host duties to Qatar, a country smaller than the state of Connecticut, soccer’s governing body FIFA is going big in 2026, increasing the number of teams from 32 to 48 with games over three nations and as many time zones.