By: Anurag Baruah
December 19 2022
The FIFA president has made no such announcement. The next FIFA World Cup will be held as per norms after four years in 2026.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup ended on Sunday, December 18, with Argentina winning its third World Cup title by beating France in a thrilling final that went to a penalty shootout. The FIFA World Cup is held every four years, with the next one scheduled to take place in 2026.
However, a claim is doing the rounds on social media that FIFA president Gianni Infantino has announced that the World Cup will be held now every 3 years. A Twitter user posted on December 16, 2022, thanking Gianni Infantino and crediting him for this supposed decision. We came across multiple other such posts on social media claiming that the FIFA World Cup will now be held every 3 years.
We found out that this is not true, and a statement by FIFA President Infantino, speaking about the new Club World Cup following a FIFA Council meeting on December 16, has been misinterpreted to make this claim.
On carrying out a keyword search, we found a news report by ESPN titled, "FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format with 32 teams in 2025." According to the report, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced on Friday, December 16, 2022, the introduction of a new 32-team men's Club World Cup to launch in June 2025. The report added that the FIFA president was speaking as part of the closing news conference at the World Cup in Qatar on December 16, 2022, after a meeting of the FIFA Council held earlier in the day.
"Of course, the details of that still need to be discussed and agreed upon, but the 32-team tournament will go ahead, making it really like a World Cup. FIFA Council has taken the decision now as a matter of principle to hold that Club World Cup..." the report quoted Infantino as saying. The new Club World Cup will also be held every four years, Infantino announced. The Club World Cup sees the participation of professional football clubs from around the world, while the main FIFA World Cup is for national teams.
The Club World Cup announcement for 2025 (which is three years from now) has been confused with the main FIFA World Cup, which will be held as scheduled in 2026, according to the same report.
"It will be incredible in North America. Three huge countries — Mexico, the United States, Canada — are organizing the event. Forty-eight teams, 50 percent more so 32 to 48, more games, revenues will go up in terms of broadcasting, sponsorship and in terms of ticketing and hospitality," ESPN quoted the FIFA President as saying while speaking about the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
A report by Sky Sports mentioned that the new Club World Cup concept was initially meant to launch in China in 2021 with 24 teams but was canceled due to the pandemic and is now set for a further expansion from June 2025.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, FIFA President Infantino indicated that there could be changes in the format for the 2026 World Cup (for national teams), with teams increasing from 32 to 48, set to be divided into 16 groups of three, with the top two progressing to the last 32. But this is still to be discussed within FIFA, the report added. This, however, confirms the fact that the next FIFA World Cup will be held in 2026 and remains an 'every four years' event.
The Al Jazeera report also mentioned the announcement by the FIFA President regarding the new additions to the Club World Cup. "Infantino also said that the 2025 Club World Cup will feature 32 teams, making the format similar to that of the current tournament," the report added.
We also checked the official website of FIFA, where we could see that a separate page for the FIFA World Cup 2026 has already been created. A registration option for the event for people interested in tickets already exists.
The next FIFA World Cup will be held after four years in 2026. The 2025 event that the FIFA President had announced is the new Club World Cup. The FIFA World Cup remains an international event to be held every four years. Therefore, we are marking the claim as false.