Argentina and France wailing face off at 10 a.m. EST Sunday in the championship sport of the 2022 World Cup. In a technique, the conclusion of this yr’s event will be the finish of an period.
This will be the final World Cup to function 32 groups, damaged down into eight teams of 4, with every workforce taking part in the different groups of their teams as soon as earlier than the high two groups from every group transfer on.
The World Cup was not all the time structured this manner, though it has served the occasion properly for nearly 30 years. Before the present format, the World Cup solely included 24 groups, divided into six teams of 4, with the high two teams advancing from every group, plus 4 third-place groups.
The final time the World Cup used the 24-team format was in 1994, and host nation the United States barely superior as one in all that yr’s third-place finishers (it then misplaced to Brazil in Palo Alto, California, on Independence Day 1-0).
The 2026 World Cup will additionally happen in the United States, with video games occurring in the Mexican cities of Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver as properly. The 2026 World Cup will not be the first time a number of nations have hosted. In 2002, Japan and South Korea additionally shared internet hosting duties.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first time that the field of teams is increasing from 32 to 48. Instead of teams of 4, the groups will be damaged up into teams of three. Each workforce will play the different two groups of their group, after which the high two groups in every group will transfer on to a 32-team knockout event.
I’m not usually an enormous fan of fixing the construction of present sports activities establishments, however I believe this new format is definitely an enchancment. There will be extra groups in event, which suggests much more fan curiosity worldwide, extra video games total, and let’s be trustworthy, generally that final group stage sport can be a dud, particularly if one workforce has already clinched a spot in the next spherical and is resting its starters.
With solely two group stage video games figuring out who goes on, each group stage sport will be a can’t-lose state of affairs. It ought to make for nice soccer.
Oh, and the event will additionally be performed in the summer time because it all the time has been earlier than the corrupt Qatari authorities moved this yr’s event to December.