With this year’s edition done and dusted, Fifa are already deliberating how to extract maximum revenue, I mean to improve the tournament next time.
I’m really looking forward to 2026, I think the combination of the new hosts in Canada, a country where the sport benefitted enormously from the ‘94 tournament and some spectacular stadia in the USA and one of the sport’s most passionate strongholds in Mexico is going to be special.
Apparently the proposed 48 team expansion is now in question and on one level that seems sensible as the idea of three team groups and other such nonsense doesn’t appeal to me. However, more big countries at the World Cup absolutely does.
For me, the biggest area of reform needs to be around African qualification for the tournament. There was no Nigeria, no Egypt at this World Cup for starters and surely that’s not commensurate with the quality of sides in Africa now. It’s notable that AFCON is a tournament with a growing audience outside of Africa, and surely Morocco’s performance in this tournament says it’s time more places were available for these sides. Especially when you look at the overloading of the tournament with B-List European sides.
A change I don’t necessarily want but I could see being trialled at a North American World Cup is the much-mooted 60 minute in play clock which would surely appeal to those in the host nations (well, the US and Canada anyway) as being familiar from the sports that have greater appeal there. And though I don’t like the idea, I can’t say FIFA’s standard 6+ added minutes in halves at this tournament was a better solution.
Lol, no it wouldn’t. Nobody plays soccer here on a 60 minute clock unless you’re playing little league.
And it’s not like Americans or people who watch American football are incapable of understanding the idea of a running clock with stoppage time. The only people a 60 minute in-play clock would appeal to are advertisers who would want to cram in a 90 second commercial break between minutes 15 and 16, and minutes 45 and 46.
People always make this mistake when it comes to Americans and soccer. Americans are going to watch the World Cup in 2026 because TV coverage will be set up to maximize eyeballs. Switching to a 60 minute in-play clock wouldn’t really change things.
I’m curious what they do with substitutions. Do we eventually get rolling substitutions like rugby, basketball or hockey?
I do also really like the idea of an orange card because I think some challenges are really bad but not necessarily sending off-worthy. But we know the standard of officiating in the PL is so poor they’d probably be afraid to use it.
I’d like them to do an overall league table style within the 48 instead of top two go through. Any team should stand a chance of going through on the last match in that set up. And 1st plays 32nd etc as the knockout format. Would be a bit more unpredictable than what we tend to get
Nah no major changes to scoring or the clock, please. Aside from FIFA being corrupt it’s fine as it is. In terms of the way the World Cup works, just leave it, why fix what isn’t broken? And by leave it I mean as 32 teams.
Even the suggestion of giving Africa more places I’d veto. Europe has dominated the World Cup in last 20 years! Why should we lose places? The European champions didn’t even qualify for the World Cup, so even with the amount of places we have, qualifying is still competitive.