FIFA President Gianni Infantino has proposed his plan for a new World Cup format that would feature 48 teams. An infusion of 16 new teams into the current 32-team format.
According to the Associated Press, the plan calls for the groups to be extended to 16 and cut to three countries a piece. The top two finishers from each group would then advance to the knockout stage that would be a Round of 32 instead of the usual Round of 16.
The plan will be up for a vote at the next FIFA Council in January. If approved, the new format would take effect in 2026.
The USA, Mexico, and Canada have all expressed heavy interest in bidding for that World Cup. We could be seeing the new format firsthand.
It appears that Infantino is determined to after the current format in someway as the proposal letter to the council also suggests a 40-team format.