I have been following World Cup games since I was a child and I always eagerly waited for this tournament. It is a bit vague what will happen after the number of participant teams is expanded, but it is obvious, that this will bring positive changes as well.
Why will the 48-team World Cup benefit everyone?
Football has always been a sport for millions, the world’s number one sport, but, interestingly, only a handful of teams have used its best privileges. The popularization of football is the main goal for players and fans. Moreover, the presence of additional 16 countries in the World Cup will give the fans of additional 16 teams an opportunity to enjoy the happiness of participating in the tournament as well.
Although teams will play only two matches in the group stage, which is one match less than now, it will not harm the tournament. In the latest World Cups, we have already realized that the third round of the group stage is merely a formality since most teams already reach their goals in the first two rounds, and in the final round, they are just rolling the ball. Moreover, in many cases, the two teams are competing in a pre-planned manner based on the interests of either team or both.
Result 1: We will not be seeing teams that kick the ball lazily and make agreements on the match result for their benefit anymore.
It may seem that the price of making a mistake or having an unsuccessful match is high, but victory in the next match will settle all problems. In any case, from a three-team group, two teams will enter the next stage and the obviously weak teams will not be successful.
Moreover, the number of matches played by the potential champion will not change and will remain the same – 7. The overall duration will not change either, and the tournament will last 32 days, like before. The same goes with the number of stadiums – 12. This means that the increase in the number of teams will not create any additional pressure on teams and players.
Result 2: No extra workload for teams and players.
The group stage will remain the main rehearsal before the gala, where the teams will check the efficiency of their weapons and prepare for matches against stronger opponents.
Moreover, for smaller countries, the new format of the World Cup is a chance to take part in the main football tournament of the world. All continents will receive additional places and will increase their representation, which in turn will allow the development of football also outside the territory called Europe, where the majority of residents believe that there is no football outside the old continent. It is enough to mention, that in 1978 when only 16 teams participated in the tournament, only one team was represented from Africa and Asia each. Africa now has 5 places, while Asia has 4.5. This shows how the geography of the tournament has expanded.
According to UEFA representatives, it is not clear yet how many extra places each Confederation will have according to the new format, as FIFA has postponed the discussion of this issue. One thing is clear, during the football World Cup, there will be millions of new fans. In Africa, there are some teams that are able to put up a good fight even against the best teams in Europe. It is worth mentioning the Algerian team, which fought against the reigning world champions Germany until the last moment. The Nigerian team, in turn, showed worthy resistance to Leo Messi’s Argentina, who also eventually reached the final.
Yes, it is true that sometimes obviously weak teams play in the tournament, but they are very few, and they take part in the tournament because of the great competition in the qualifying round during which they have defeated the more powerful teams.
Why should the new format benefit small countries as well?
Every small country’s national team fans dream to see their teams in the final round of World or European Championship. It seems unreal for many of them, because the competition is very fierce, and places are limited. Whereas the last European Championship showed that smaller countries can also have great expectations. The extra places given to Europe will give some very strong but small countries additional chances to take part in the final tournament.
Finally, one should not forget that the Football Associations all around the world get huge support from FIFA for developing football infrastructure, and the support is mainly financial. In addition, FIFA has announced that the new World Cup format will increase the revenues by $ 1 billion. This number will be allocated to develop football infrastructure around the world afterTaking into account all the written above, we can agree that despite the potential dangers and
Taking into account all the written above, we can agree that, despite the potential dangers and expenses, expanding the number of participating teams in the World Cup will be more helpful to the development of football in the world.
Lastly, let us not forget that football is played regardless of gender, age and race.
Love football, live football …