7 Questions Every Football Fan Is Asking About The New 48-team World Cup

It’s confirmed. It’s happening. It really has come to this.

Starting with the 2026 tournament, the World Cup – the most prestigious, famous competition in international football – will feature 48 different nations.

With 48 squads of 23 men, that means there will be 1,104 players at the 2026 World Cup. Kind of hard to maintain the idea that FIFA’s showpiece competition remains the ultimate platform for a footballer when there will be more than a thousand of them there.

Nonetheless, FIFA chief Gianni Infantino has just had his proposal for a 48-team competition signed off by the FIFA Council – which means that it is now set in stone.

And this is a decision which has got fans everywhere asking some very pertinent questions…

1. How are Panini going to cope with the increased sticker production?

Since 1970 a collection of Panini stickers has accompanied each FIFA World Cup, held every four years.

Each Panini album is not just a practical guide to the various rounds of the tournament, but it also provides a valuable visual archive of all the teams and their memorable matches.

2. Which lowly nation will inevitably knock England out?

3. Will Scotland finally qualify?

 

4. What will the ‘Group of Death’ look like?

 

5. Where are we going to put the wallchart?

https://twitter.com/BigDerek56/status/818758262262792193

6. What was the motivation for introducing the new format?

7. And finally… WHY THE HELL DID THEY CHANGE IT?

 

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