World Cup switches to 48-team tournament


Infantino is crazy. A large tournament is the tax which Infantino needs to pay for the votes from the Asia, Africa and other little countries without any chance to play a World Cup.

After Platini and Blatter, we hoped to have a good chairman at the top of the football pyramid, but Infantino looks like the past.


It definitley lessens the pool of countries that could host it alright. Think we’ll end up seeing joint bids in the future Spain/France or France/Germany perhaps. Maybe even a full UK bid with Ireland thrown in for good measure. There’s definitley infrastructure enough to support future World Cups without another stadium having to be built anyway…but that’s not the way FIFA works of course…

Infantino has phrased it as “won’t add additional matches” which is true in the winning team will play the same number of matches as they do now but it increases the actual number of games played from 64 to 96! :frowning:


I like the 3 team groups. It means that every group stage match is vital. And an extra round of knockouts rather than group matches is surely better?

FIFA’s interest is in growing world football. Yeah that might be just to make money, but either way that’s their aim. Nothing gets people interested in international sport like their country being represented and being able to support them so I’m for anything to make the top end of the sport more inclusive.

How can you expect people in countries like Jordan to give a shit about football when football to them is a turd league and playing a few other Asian countries once in a while to end up not qualifying for the World Cup because Australia, Korea and Japan are always bigger than them. Even if they put together a decent side, chances are it won’t be decent enough to beat those guys consistently. They’ll never get to play Brazil or Argentina or England unless they can convince them to play a friendly. But under these rules Jordan and maybe Uzbekistan would have been going to their first World Cup in 2014 but they missed their chance and now they might not get close again.

In 2010 Uruguay were a real hit but they only just qualified by 1 point, so we came pretty close to losing Uruguay completely that year. Colombia on the other hand just missed out but they might have made into into a bigger world cup and their squad then had a few of the players that were exciting in 2014 so they might have been a positive influence in 2010 had they been able to compete.

In 60 years of Ballon D’Or over 75% of the winners have been from 8 countries. That can’t be right for the most widespread international sport. This will be a short term change that might be considered negative by people with a European viewpoint but in 50 years moving down this path could change football forever for the better. In Europe we’re really blessed at being able to have a lot of our teams compete at top tournaments every 2 years but other federations have it every 4 years and most of the teams have no hope of qualifying for it.

So yeah, I’m all in favour of FIFA doing whatever they can to get football out there. The World Cup is 5 weeks of football that happens every 4 years. We’ll still get to see the best teams play, but what’s the harm of letting some of the lesser teams have more of a chance to be seen? For more kids to grow up dreaming of playing for their country in the World Cup? Considering the Olympics is full of no-hopers who turn up aiming to finish in the top 60 of mens sprinters and there’s only ever 2 or 3 people actually capable of winning gold yet the event is a big success, I can’t really argue against the same sort of thing happening in football.

It might take 50 years, it might take 100 years but the number of countries able to put out a decent team really needs to increase and I think it can be done. We go into a World Cup now and it’s always Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, France that you look at, with some outsiders having good teams at certain times (England, Chile, Holland, Portugal, Uruguay etc.). But what if in 50 years because of the widespread growth of professional football instead of 6 favourites and 6 maybes, there were 12 favourites and 12 maybes? That would be an awesome World Cup!

I know it seems like a pipedream in 2016 but in 1966 England were champions of the world so it’s clear the football world has changed a lot in the last 50 years :smiley: so it can change again in the next 50 years. It won’t just be FIFA’s doing, it’ll require changes from individual FAs and maybe outside investment in domestic leagues but football needs to grow around the world. It’s the sport with the lowest barrier to entry and plenty of footballers have become successful after growing up in poverty so it’s not just down to economics. I think football can really boom again and I hope to see it change in my lifetime.

Sorry I waffled so much :sweat:


People want Blatter (and Platini) out, they got their wish.
The new guy is going to screw up the World Cup even more


Considering that it’s a yearly award and that football is mostly shaped by the great teams and players of the time that’s pretty good I’d argue. Add a lack of information and in general a strong focus on European football and you’re always going to have these results.

Afcon, Copa America,…


Would be so shit. Just like the Euros it would be nearly impossible for a half decent team to go out in the group phase so those games don’t have any meaning.

The Euros weren’t worth watching till the latter stages and this won’t be either. It’s just to get more revenue, the idea has no sporting credibility at all. Ironically it would be more successful if they just went all the way to 64 teams and had an extra round.


They should just axe the qualification period and have a 120 team world cup. Nearly half way there anyway and means we have no less international breaks during the season :wink:


Just pick the best 8-10 teams in the world, strongest teams have to play against each other, no fluke, and the best team win the World Cup.


Gianni, you bald cunt. WTF!? It would totally ruin the tournament.


@Craigie for FIFA president basically.

Have to completely disagree with that. Enjoyed the tournament start to finish after initially thinking it would be a disaster.


No point whinging I suppose as we know its all about how much revenue they can make not about the quality of the Tournament. More nations = More money to be made.


One more thing…

More money, means more politics more money laundry and business under the table.

Getting rid of Blatter is useless, if FIFA still runs the same way.


Going to be a lot of skint dads too. More fucking stickers for the album.
Pannini have got their hands all over this one.16 teams when I was collecting for Argentina 78. Travesty this.


Makes future table quizzes fucking impossible too…“name the Myanmarian goalkeeper who saved the decisive penalty kick against England at the 2026 world cup ro32 game”. :weary:


They’re already too many shit teams in this thing, just take spots from CONCACAF and the UEFA, who cares if crap teams like Honduras or England don’t qualify.


That’s going to be great fun. Now expect penalties to be the decider in case of a draw or we’ll end up with lots of stupid tie breaker situations.


The panini sticker album is now going to be as thick as the Bible!


Who would of known the “it’s the taking part that matters” drivel from primary school would go on to apply to the most prestigious professional sports competeition in the world.

If Burkina Faso want to play in the World Cup. Who are we to say no.


I think it’s a fantastic idea. I much agree with @Cragie point if I’m honest with you.


To be fair to poor old Burkina Faso, who seem to be the team everyone is using for their jokes today, they’re number 50 in the world, above the likes of Scotland, Nigeria and even Russia :poldi: