option of having pre-match penalty shootouts at the 2026 World Cup
According to reports FIFA may hold pre-match penalty shootouts at the 2026 World Cup.
The 2026 edition will see 48 teams participating, up from 32 in the previous edition. The tournament will also be divided into 16 groups consisting of three teams.
Problem with the format is the fact that only two teams will know how many points the third team has scored before the final match.
From each of the 16 groups, two of the top teams will be selected to progress. Each group also includes a knockout stage with 32 teams.
FIFA has decided to hold a penalty shootout in an effort to avoid collusion. But, teams will still be able to predict which outcome they favor if the shootout ends in a tie.
FIFA may therefore consider introducing the shootout before matches begin. It will undoubtedly be a unique setting for a game.
We will see if the rule gets implemented, and how it will impact league football all over the globe. The 2022 FIFA World Cup's group stages are still underway.
However, there are a few teams that have already qualified to the knockout stages. All fixtures in Group A have been completed.
The Netherlands have won the group and will now face the USA's Group A runners-up. England will host Group A winners Senegal.