World soccer governing body FIFA has announced the launch of a new series of friendly matches in one location during the March 2024 international window, featuring four countries.

There will be no trophies or prize money for the FIFA Series, which has been devised to aid national teams that do not often, or have not ever played teams from other confederations, with FIFA set to cover the teams’ travel costs.

The pilot will take place from March 18 to 26 in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Azerbaijan, and Sri Lanka. Four teams will be based in each location, playing two matches each.

Elkhan Mammadov, FIFA's regional member associations director for Europe, said: "Some countries have never played teams outside their confederations. They can gain competitive experience playing teams outside their own confederation, playing teams with a completely different style of play.

"Currently we have 20 teams for the pilot edition. For the 2026 edition, we hope to have many more. We've started discussions with high-ranked teams and they hope to play and even host the next edition in March 2026. There is interest to host."

Mammadov stated that FIFA is currently working on finding television broadcast deals for the series while also aiming to stream matches on their FIFA+ platform.

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FIFA is facilitating but not organizing the tournaments, with Mammadov saying that they were inviting member associations with their sponsors set to sponsor the Series, however, he did not rule out companies approaching FIFA to sponsor the series

Kenny Jean-Marie, FIFA's chief member associations officer, added: "The next World Cup (in 2026) will have 48 teams which means you may have many member associations who never played in a World Cup. They may arrive in the US, Mexico, or Canada with no international experience outside their continent.”

The Algeria-based portion of the series will feature Algeria, Bolivia, Andorra, and South Africa, while the Azerbaijan-based section will feature Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Tanzania, and Bulgaria, while the Sri Lanka-based portion will feature Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Bhutan, and the Central African Republic.

Finally, the Saudi Arabia-based part of the series won’t feature a Saudi Arabia team, and it will be split into two groups. Group A features Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, and Cambodia, while Group B features Guinea, Vanuatu, Bermuda, and Brunei.

Earlier this month FIFA announced the schedule of the 2026 edition of its iconic World Cup national teams competition, including the location of its showpiece final, which will be held at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.

The quadrennial international tournament, which will be hosted by the US, Mexico, and Canada, will begin on June 11, 2026, at Mexico’s 87,523-capacity Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the largest venue at the tournament.