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Thread: Possible expansion to 48 teams from 2026 world Cup.

  1. #41
    International Prospect NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Lot of noises from various media sources on the topic this month, now Infantino is saying a scrapping of the 16 groups of three in favour of 12 groups of four is on the table: https://www.rte.ie/sport/world-cup-2...026-world-cup/

    This would presumably mean the top two teams in the group progress, along with the best eight third-placed sides, similar to the current Euros format. That'll bring problems of its own, along with the mountain of games: we'd go from 64 in the current format to 80 in the standing format for 2026 to 104 under the proposed model. Only regional hosting could handle that really.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  2. #42
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    The whole point of three-team groups was that it would still take 7 games to win the World Cup, so clubs were happy.

    Now it's an extra game asked on players, so the clubs are presumably going to have to be in on this.

    I imagine they can be bought off - but if you have 48 teams going to a last 32, why not in due course make it 64 teams and have top two go through?

    It's all starting to eat itself I think...

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  4. #43
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    What's the issue with 3 team groups? I've never really understood in what situation where 2 out of 3 qualify there would be room for collusion.

  5. #44
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Well partly it's that you're going to have a team potentially knowing what result they need going into the final round, which is a help (see Argentina 6-0 Peru in 1978 - not a three-team group, but the same idea as the final group games weren't down at the same time)

    But it is also possible to rig the final round - Team A beat Team B 3-0 on the opening day, Team B then beat Team C 1-0, so Team C just need to beat Team A 1-0 and A/C are through and B are out.

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  7. #45
    International Prospect NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    It's being reported that the three team group idea is being abandoned: https://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2023...-longer-event/

    So 12 groups of 4, with group winners, runners-up and the best eight third placed teams progressing to a 32 team knockout. Aside from the issues of how this guts the competitiveness of the group stage (it's being claimed that the excitement of the Qatar group stage is influencing this decision, but if anything that kind of situation is now less likely to repeat) this has big implications on future hosting. 104 games over a month and a half-ish is a lot. The 2026 big can handle it, but after that you suspect you're looking at continent-wide hosting or lots of co-hosts.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  8. #46
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    So four group runners-up don't get through? That also seems quite harsh. The group stages will be chaos - lose your opener and you could be all but out. Lots of defensive football as a result?

  9. #47
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    So four group runners-up don't get through? That also seems quite harsh. The group stages will be chaos - lose your opener and you could be all but out. Lots of defensive football as a result?
    No - all runners up and winners go through (24) plus 8 3rd placers. Wasn't WC90 the same (with less teams obviously)?

  10. #48
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Oh sorry - misread that.

    Doesn't that mean an extra game to win it then? I thought they were really trying to avoid that

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    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Not sure... i didnt really think it was broken in the first place.

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  13. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    No - all runners up and winners go through (24) plus 8 3rd placers. Wasn't WC90 the same (with less teams obviously)?
    It was, same as 86 and 94 I think. 6 groups with 4 teams each, top two and the four best third placed teams went through.

  14. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Oh sorry - misread that.

    Doesn't that mean an extra game to win it then? I thought they were really trying to avoid that
    Yeah, and I remember when Infantino announced it originally, he acted like he was some sort of genius for creating a 48-team World Cup where the top four still played the same number of games - now he's acting like he's some sort of genius for deciding not to do that.

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  16. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by samhaydenjr View Post
    Yeah, and I remember when Infantino announced it originally, he acted like he was some sort of genius for creating a 48-team World Cup where the top four still played the same number of games - now he's acting like he's some sort of genius for deciding not to do that.
    Is he an Irish Politician when he is not busy with the Football.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    International Prospect NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    The 32 team Club World Cup just doesn't do anything for me. The current model is bad enough really, FIFA seems inordinately committed to giving the Champions League winners an extra trophy every year. I don't think its ever going to be the equivalent to the actual World Cup because European clubs won't treat it like that, not least because it essentially means the best players in the world will get no Summers off, ever.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  19. #55
    Coach John83's Avatar
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    I found this article somewhat helpful in understanding this. https://www.football365.com/news/202...-than-original
    The biggest point it raises is the huge number of extra games over more or less the same length of time. Superstar burnout is almost guaranteed.

    Anyone else have a better one?

  20. #56
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    Surely Players Unions should be having their say about the number of games / competitions that players play in.

    if you turn the player in to a dead horse then that is certainly not good for the player.

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