The 48-Team World Cup Is Expected To Be Announced On Tuesday
Get the best email in soccer.
FIFA’s plan to expand the World Cup to 48 teams will be given the green light on Tuesday according to reports. The plan, long expounded by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, could yet encounter resistance as qualifying places for the tournament have yet to be explained. Also, nations like Germany directly oppose the plan.
However, according to Infantino, he has “overwhelming” support from the majority of the member federations, and the FIFA Council, the main decision-making body of the organization, looks set to approve the expansion.
The plans would see the tournament shift to 16 groups of three in 2026, with each team playing two decisive group matches. While Africa and Asia look to be the continents that would benefit the most from this change, FIFA has said themselves that the highest level of quality would be obtained from a 32-team tournament.
But, according to Infantino: “Financially, the 48-team format is the most appealing or successful simply because the sporting element is prevailing and every match is important. The decision should not be financially driven, neither in terms of revenue or costs…but the driver should really be the development of football and boosting football all over the world.”
FIFA expects that a 48-team tournament would increase revenue in upwards of $1 billion.
(H/T: NBC Sports)