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World Cup Expansion Plans


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Ignore the BBC's stupid click bait headline. I couldn't give a monkey's where the 2026 World Cup is held. What I do want to discuss are the plans to expand the tournament beyond the current 32 team format. I'm lazy linking the **** out of this because most of the article isn't relevant. If you really want to read about Gianni Infantino sniffing his own farts follow the hyperlink. The pertinent information is as follows;


"There are four options for the 2026 tournament:

Keep the existing 32-team structure

Expand to 40 teams (eight groups of five)

Expand to 40 teams (10 groups of four)

Expand to 48 teams (16 seeds joined by 16 winner of 32 team play-off round held in the host country)"


I'm struggling to find the words to fully describe the abject stupidity of a couple of these options. I'll look at them one by one;

10 groups of 4 is simply unworkable since it leaves you with 4 groups where only the winners progress to the knock out round. That alone isn't the worst thing in the world, until you realise that it will give teams in the groups that finish later the massive advantage of knowing exactly what result they need to progress in 2nd place.

The 48 team solution is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. FIFA actually want 32 teams to spend 18 months playing a dozen or more qualifying games, then select and prepare a squad, and travel to the tournament with all their fans in tow to potentially play only 90 minutes of football. Madness.

8 groups of 5 is the most logical solution when looking purely at the numbers. It keeps the groups uniform, with 2 teams qualifying from each. It gives nations who may only qualify once in a generation an extra World Cup game to enjoy. The problem is that it increases the match count for the tournament by 32 to nearly 100 in total. When we consider that large nations like Brazil are already complaining about the cost of hosting the tournament, is it really reasonable to expect the host nation to manage this many fixtures?

When called out on these poorly conceived ideas Infantino had this to say;


"When a team qualifies for the tournament the whole country is in football euphoria.

"More youngsters want to play the game, companies want to get involved in sponsorship and the benefits to football as a whole are immense.

"In a 48-team format, the quality would be higher because the 32 teams would have a play-off. The quality would improve and not decrease in any way."


They don't even bother trying to hide it any more. The World Cup is a giant bloated cash cow and the only thing FIFA care about is squeezing as much milk out of it's ravaged teats as possible.


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7 minutes ago, GboroRam said:

What the world cup really needs is more minnow teams like San Marino and Malta. The teams that get added to the 32 are the ones who can't beat the likes of Andorra.


The problem is that, under the way FIFA's voting system works, presidents are required to chase votes from minnow nations so World Cup expansion is inevitable and it won't stop at 48. Eventually we will be left with a gargantuan World Cup finals that will last half a year, involve every single FIFA member, and bankrupt the host nation.

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They should leave it as it is. If you can't finish at least second in some of these terrible groups then do i really want to watch these countries in the World Cup? No.

I liked the Euro expansion but the disappointing aspect to it was one win out of 3 games would probably get you through so I expected a lot more attacking football. Get the first game won and you're through, if you lose you've got another 2 chances at it. As it was the football was pretty drab all the way through as is international football really.

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I dunno sounds good, the way England are progressing as a footballing nation we might need to expland it further to ensure our continued participation :)


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After the Euro debacle, expanding further would be a mistake.

As mentioned earlier, teams knew and could influence results in order to get better draws ahead of the final game of the group stages. Playing for a 0-0 to finish 3rd is an absolute joke.

And what made the entire tournament a farce was the way the seeds landed all the best teams on one side of the draw, meaning there were a bunch of rubbish games being played in the latter stages.


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