Football: FIFA World Cup Tournaments, by number of matches played
TournamentMatches played
Qatar 202264
Russia 201864
Brazil 201464
South Africa 201064
Germany 200664
South Korea / Japan 200264
France 199864
USA 199452
Italy 199052
Mexico 198652
Spain 198252
Argentina 197838
Germany 197438
Mexico 197032
Sweden 195835
England 196632
Chile 196232
Switzerland 195426
Brazil 195022
France 193818
Italy 193417
Uruguay 193018
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 1930 to 2022
  • Published: Dec 2022

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Consistency in Matches Played from 1998 to 2022

FIFA World Cup tournaments held between Qatar 2022 and France 1998 consistently featured 64 matches each. This period marks a stable phase in the tournament's format, with seven consecutive editions maintaining the same number of games.

Increase in Matches Played Over Time

The number of matches played at the FIFA World Cup has gradually increased, from 18 matches in the inaugural tournament in Uruguay 1930 to 64 matches by France 1998. This trend highlights the expansion of the tournament over time.

Variability Before 1998

Before the establishment of the 64-match format in 1998, the number of matches played in the FIFA World Cup varied significantly, ranging from as few as 17 matches in Italy 1934 to as many as 52 matches in USA 1994.

Significant Milestones in Matches Played

The FIFA World Cup witnessed significant milestones in the number of matches played: the jump from 38 matches in Argentina 1978 to 52 matches in Spain 1982, and the further increase to 64 matches by France 1998. These milestones mark key expansions in the tournament's format.

Fewest Matches in Early Tournaments

The early editions of the FIFA World Cup, specifically Italy 1934 and Brazil 1950, featured the fewest matches, with 17 and 22 matches respectively. These numbers reflect the nascent stage of the tournament's development.

Variation in Matches Before 64-Match Format

Prior to the stabilization of the tournament format, the number of matches played in the FIFA World Cup showcased notable variation, illustrating the experimental and evolving nature of the event's early years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many matches were consistently played in World Cup tournaments from 1998 to 2022?

World Cup tournaments from 1998 to 2022 consistently played 64 matches each.

How has the number of matches played at the FIFA World Cup changed over time?

The number of World Cup matches has gradually increased, from 18 matches in Uruguay 1930 to 64 matches in France 1998.

Which World Cup tournaments recorded the fewest matches?

The fewest matches were recorded in the Italy 1934 and Brazil 1950 World Cups, with 17 and 22 matches respectively.

Terms and Definitions

FIFA, an acronym for "Fédération Internationale de Football Association", is the international governing body for the sport of football. Established in 1904, FIFA is responsible for organizing and overseeing international football tournaments, particularly the World Cup.

The FIFA World Cup is a global football tournament organized by FIFA. It is among the world's most widely viewed sporting events, where national teams from FIFA's member nations compete for the title. The tournament has been held every four years (except during World War II) since its inaugural event in 1930.

A World Cup match refers to a single game played between two national teams in the FIFA World Cup tournament. Each match consists of two halves of 45 minutes each, with the team scoring the most goals declared as the winner. If a match ends in a draw, additional time or penalty shootouts are used to determine the winner in certain stages of the tournament.

The group stage is the first phase of the World Cup tournament, where the participating teams are divided into groups. Each team plays against all other teams within their group. The top two teams of each group, based on points achieved from wins or draws, advance to the knockout stage.

The knockout stage is the second phase of the World Cup tournament. In this stage, competing teams must win their match to progress to the next round. The knockout stage includes the Round of 16, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, 3rd-place play-off, and the Final.

The Round of 16 is the first round of the knockout stage in the World Cup. It includes the top two teams from each group in the group stages, culminating in 16 teams. The winners progress to the quarter-finals.

Quarter-finals is the round following the Round of 16 in a World Cup tournament. It consists of eight teams, the winners of which progress to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals consist of the four winning teams from the quarter-finals. The winners of the semi-final matches progress to the final match, whereas the defeated competitors play in the third-place play-off.

The 3rd-place play-off is a match to determine which of the losing teams from the semi-finals will take the third place in the competition. The winner of this match is awarded the bronze medal.
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