FOOTBALL: FIFA approved the project Tuesday …
Fifa on Tuesday passed “unanimously” the move to 48 teams at the World Cup in 2026 with a first phase of 16 groups of 3 teams, announced on Tuesday the proceedings on their Twitter account.
The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026:
16 groups of 3 teams. Details to follow after the meeting.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) January 10, 2017
The Council of Fifa, world football government, has adopted the proposal put forward by the President Gianni Infantino, which he said will increase the Global sporting interest and financial returns. According to a confidential report seen by AFP, this new formula would yield 605 million additional euros to FIFA.
No details have yet been given on the crucial issue of the allocation of additional seats between each confederation.
According to a source close to FIFA, Europe would increase to 16 seats (against 13 today) and Africa 9 (against 5).
UEFA is not convinced
This larger format attracted criticism. The UEFA president, the Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin, lamented the end of December to miss “Fifa’s information”, saying that the current system to 32 teams shouls stay “on”.
The European Club Association (ECA), chaired by former German international Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, displays his opposition, citing a too busy schedule for the players. If Africa or Asia and “small countries” have much to gain from an expanded format as at the last Euro in France, you must still convince the undecided.