Comment of Sport/Voetbalmagazine journalist Peter T’Kint in the decision of the Wereldvoetbalbond FIFA to the world cup from 2026 to expand to 48 countries, instead of the current 32.
You can almost poison to take. If there is at the head of the international voetbalinstanties – whether they’re FIFA or UEFA to be called, doesn’t matter – something changes and a new boss, the paste is waving, is going to within the shortest of times about a change to the format. It happened under João Havelange (of 16 went to in ’82 to 24, and under the impetus of his right-hand man and successor Sepp Blatter in ’98 to 32) and it is now also dattum under the new FIFA boss Gianni Infantino. A year ago elected and already the founder of a new format that from 2026 in effect occurs: a world cup with 48. The european CHAMPIONSHIPS last summer, for the first time with 24, there was also already come after the arrival of Michel Platini as president of UEFA. The Frenchman was in 2008, a notorious supporter of the expansion.
FIFA and UEFA are with this innovation in contrast to the ECA, the association of European soccer clubs. European, yes, what they are in the minority brings in a world like that of today, with representatives of all the states. The European clubs are against the expansion, against each extension. They want their players as little as possible for their country to play football. Hence, let us be clear – they monitor their commercial interests. They do not do this for sporting reasons, out of sympathy with the physical load of their players. No. They want his zomertoer with their celebrities, to the honour and glory of the own wallet.
That weakens their voice in this debate. Infantino knew that and crowds therefore plan by: 16 more countries means more revenue from sponsors, from television, from ticket sales. And more money for FIFA also means more money for the federations. For all federations, including those of Samoa, Luxembourg or Bangladesh. That know their representatives. Of course, votes for.Share
World cup with 48: for money dancing the bear
Is this new expansion a good thing for the world cup and the football? Found you in the summer of 2016 the expansion with 8 European countries, a good thing for the european CHAMPIONSHIPS, and the football? It is the same discussion. In Wales, Slovakia, Ireland or Iceland, they found it. Supporters, who love topduels à la Germany-Italy or France-England, thought not. In any case, you will have a lot more contests: 64 we will go to 80. The intention is to, within one month (32 days) everything to work. That is intense.
Imagine that world cup 2026 is in China, that these days grab money in the sport throws like one wants to organise – it is not in 2026 or 2030. Given the time difference that matches during the night or in the early morning. Will you stand up for Cameroon-Albania or South Korea – Ecuador? Look, in the first round, to 16 groups of three, with only the worst going back home and the other two to the knock-out stages.
Oh, for the money dancing the bear. Certainly the voetbalbeer. Already since the eighties. This surprised not. Let us, then, but in the camp of Wales, Iceland or Ireland, throw and Infantino grateful that they, too, will agree against countries from Asia, Africa, or South America can play. And that FIFA then but honestly the many money distributes all over the world, not only about twenty of the European top teams. Which we then hope that it is not in kostuumvesten ends, or on bank accounts in tax havens, such as under Blatter.
Only this: it is becoming quite a task to have a world cup to organise. Eighty matches in 32 days is a lot. So you have a pack of stadiums required, more frequently to the image of South Africa or Brazil white elephants will be. A world cup to organise something for the big countries. Even more. Certainly outside of Europe.
Or is the next step a CHAMPIONSHIP over a whole continent, such as Platini with his 2020 across Europe are going to be traveling.