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FIFA World Cup New FIFA Now co-founder Collins slams expansion

FIFA World Cup New FIFA Now co-founder Collins slams expansion”

FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams starting with the 2026 tournament prompted one major question: who can host the global showpiece in its revamped format?

The World Cup, held every four years, last expanded in 1998, from 24 to 32 teams.

African teams have done well in the World Cup recently with Algeria reaching the last-16 in Brazil 2014 before narrowly losing in extra-time to eventual champions Germany, and Ghana making the last-16 in 2006 and the quarterfinals in 2010. The FIFA Council has unanimously decided in favor of the move which will see the teams compete in 16 groups of three, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the 32-team knockout round.

FIFA's new president, Gianni Infantino, had pressed for the change when he ran for the presidency previous year, as a way to invigorate the event and to include more countries, and expansion is sure to be popular in the vote-rich confederations of Africa and Asia that serve as any Federation Internationale de Football Association president's power base. "The only sure thing is that obviously with 48 teams everyone will have a bit more than they have today".

With co-hosting a recent admission, and even encouraged by Infantino, a tandem or tri-nation bid (US, Mexico and Canada) "is a possibility", CONCACAF chief Victor Montagliani confirmed. The CONCACAF region has not hosted the World Cup since the 1994 tournament in the United States. At present, the Oceania group winners have to beat the fifth-placed Conmebol (South American) team to make the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

That was exclusively due to a biased qualification format where Asia was awarded either a half-place or just one of the 16 slots available over that duration.

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Africa and Asia could be the big winners in a larger format with a rise in their number of places, now at 5 and 4.5 respectively.

He has previously advised the governing body to introduce penalty shoot-outs in group matches that end in a draw to stop teams from plotting a favourable result for both sides. Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko is a FIFA Council member and attended Tuesday's meeting.

But the developments grants the world's largest continent at least two more spots.

The experienced Dutchman was assistant to South Korea coach Guus Hiddink during the 2002 World Cup; then served as deputy to another Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, again with South Korea, during the 2006 World Cup. He didn't say as much but South America is perhaps a case in point.

FIFA's research has suggested that an expanded tournament would rake in an additional 632 million dollars profit on the current format, with the tournament revenue increasing to 6.42 billion dollars.

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