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Topic: Should The World Cup Be Expanded To 48 Teams? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The first World Cup took place in 1930. Thirteen teams took part; that increased to 16 in 1934; in 1982, 24 teams played; in 1998, 32 teams played; and from 2026 onwards, 48 teams will be playing.

Is it too much?

I understand FIFA will make more money from TV coverage. I also understand it'll give more countries the opportunity to qualify. Some countries, such as China and Canada, haven't played much at all (I could be wrong, but I think both China and Canada have only qualified once).

But I disagree with the expansion. It seems like it'll become too unwieldy. And, although I don't want to sound elitist, I'll say it: it will lose its lustre and be less elite if 48 teams play. And does anyone really want to see 48 teams in the competition?

Now, I welcome views from both sides on this. If you think it's good that there'll be 48 teams from 2026 onwards, then feel free to explain why; if you don't like the idea, put your views forward. All views welcome.

If you do think it's a good thing, then I have another question for you: will it improve the tournament in any way, shape or form?

I'm not convinced, but I am open to having my mind changed.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

For me, 48 is way too many. 

But then I feel 24 is too many for the Euros. 16 was a great number for the Euros.

My favourite World Cups were 1986 and 1990, which were with 24 teams. When they went to 32 in 1998 it felt bloated. 48 is a joke.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The 1990 World Cup remains my favourite, too. So much happening, eventful in so many ways, and just one that I look back on fondly.

I think fewer teams in any tournament, within any sport, is preferable.
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Don't see what the big deal is. The more teams, the more games to watch. The top team will still win. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 6:37pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

But the more teams can enter any sort of sporting competition, the less elite it is for me.

A World Cup should, in theory, feature the cream of the crop. But increase the number of teams and you'll lead to weak teams qualifying, showing up, playing a couple of matches, getting beat decisively - and then going home, forthwith! 
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 09 June 2018 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

How does restricting teams from entering expand the market? Canada has not had a team at the World Cup since the 80s. What better way to promote soccer than having more countries showcased? Of course, Canada would get their ass kicked but there would be increased attention in Canada and in any other country that made it. The USA not going this year is going to hurt the growth of soccer in America, which is a shame. Having more teams qualifying would expand the market. 

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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 09 June 2018 at 4:39pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

As to whether it will improve the competition, the world loves the underdog. 
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Mario Ribeiro
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Posted: 09 June 2018 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Can't wait to see Canada vs. Jamaica...

(I'm Brazilian; there's not much I can joke about!)
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 June 2018 at 5:06pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

You could use the same argument to say Wimbledon would be enhanced by expanding the number of rounds until I am included. Clearly this isn't the case. In Italia 90, with 24 teams, you got W Germany whipping the UAE 5-1. We do not need worse teams than this competing. It is not entertaining and, as Robbie says, it simply devalues the achievement of qualifying for a major tournament.

As for attempting to expand the market... The FIFA world cup is the most watched sporting event on the planet. Don't fix what ain't broke and all that.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 5:48am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

And in other news:

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 9:42am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

FIFA has basically abandoned any pretence that their World Cups are anything other than just vehicles to hoover up more money.

Having a single tournament that spans from Mexico City to Edmonton is crazy. And with 10 games in Canada and 10 in Mexico, it's predominantly a US tournament.

Let us remind ourselves that England, the home of football, with the richest, most-followed football league in the world -- and all the attendant infrastructure that goes with that -- last hosted a World Cup 52 years ago, and that was the sole time it got to be host. The US, hardly a hotbed for the game, has now been given two World Cups as host within the span of 32 years (by 2026).

I am looking forward to Euro 2020 (and yes that tournament will also cover a large geographic space) far, far more than any of the next three World Cups -- and that's with me living in Canada which will be one of the hosts of the turgid 48-team farce in 2026.


Edited by Peter Martin on 13 June 2018 at 9:45am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 10:18am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Turgid 48-team farce? My thoughts, exactly, Peter!

Personally, I think a country that has never hosted it should have been given the chance. Without checking, has the Republic of Ireland ever hosted it? I don't think so (I await someone pointing out they did, I can't recall every host nation, but I doubt Ireland has!). 

I agree about it predominantly being a US tournament. 
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Mario Ribeiro
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

No, Ireland never did. But countries need to have the infraestructure to host it, or be willing to spend tons of money to build it. The problem is, what are you going to do with those state of the art stadiums once the Cup is over?
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 3:49am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

For me, 48 is way too many. 

But then I feel 24 is too many for the Euros. 16 was a great number for the Euros.

My favourite World Cups were 1986 and 1990, which were with 24 teams. When they went to 32 in 1998 it felt bloated. 48 is a joke

***

Everything he said.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 3:51am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Don't see what the big deal is. The more teams, the more games to watch. The top team will still win. 

***

But the quality in matches will decline.

Did you see the Saudi game? A 48 team tournament will see three teams worse than them.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 6:23am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

The World Cup should feature the elite. Nations that have large populations and immense economies and huge political capital, e.g., China or the USA, don't because of those reasons deserve to qualify. If these countries, given all that they have, cannot put together top-flight national teams, too bad. 

I root for Italy, first, so my favorite World Cup was '82, but 16 teams was best.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

A supermarket in Poland:


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 18 June 2018 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Worth a read:

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Philippe Pinoli
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Posted: 28 June 2018 at 2:13pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Stupid idea and we would once again bring
back unfair 3rd place qualified teams to
go from 12 (!) four team groups to crazy
32 round of 32 :(
Average level would obviously go down and
European (and South Américan) that is to
say 2 years qualifying games would become
meaningless...Italy or Netherlands would
NEVER miss the world Cup..
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 30 June 2018 at 12:23pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The # of yellow cards breaking ties thing is STUPID!
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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 6:00pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I totally get that sports is a business, but as a fan I think 48 teams is too many.  I want to watch the best.  I don't need to see two lower-tier teams playing.

Canada is too small (infrastructure wise) to host the World Cup alone (we don't have enough grass-field stadiums for example).  So I get the idea of trying to include the little guy.  But just send us some friendlies or even a qualifier match once in a while.  Hosting the actual World Cup is too elite, it should be reserved for one country that can handle the event.  My two cents.




Edited by Karl Wiebe on 03 July 2018 at 6:01pm
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