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FIFA considering introducing group-stage penalty shootouts at World Cup

FIFA is considering introducing group-stage penalty shootouts at the next edition of the World Cup in 2026.

The 2026 tournament will take place in the United States, Mexico and Canada, with 48 teams participating, an increase from 32 in the previous editions.

According to The Athletic, the change would see teams compete in a penalty shootout if they draw a group stage game, with a potential extra point up for grabs for the winners.

The potential introduction of group-stage penalty shootouts is due to the possibility of groups being made up of three teams following the tournament’s expansion to forty-eight teams.

The bonus-point shootouts could take place before kick-off to avoid potential collusion that could come with staging penalty shootouts after games in which a particular result benefits both sides in question, thereby eliminating the third team in the group.

Currently, FIFA is preventing such situations by simultaneously playing the group’s final round of fixtures.

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