It kind of goes without saying at this point, but the FIFA World Cup serves as the pinnacle of this game we all know and love – and there’s really no way of getting around it. As a tournament it is, simply put, a remarkable example of just how wonderful football can be. Of course, when you look a little bit deeper, the behaviour of FIFA doesn’t exactly fill us with all too much hope and joy.
As reported by BBC, the initial plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have been shelved. It kind of makes, you know, all the sense in the world to not go ahead with that, but it’s taken FIFA far too long to figure that out. At this stage you would think the constant reports coming out about Qatar would be enough to put them off the idea of holding the biggest tournament in sports there, but they just don’t seem to be thrown off the idea no matter what happens.
It still seems as if 48 teams are going to be making their way to the finals in North America in 2026, but to be honest, we kind of all saw that coming. Beyond the amount of teams that are going to compete, though, we’re generally quite interested to know what the expectations of the fans are as we find ourselves just over seven years away from things getting started.
As reported by Coast Mountain News, the investment is certainly coming in thick and fast from all corners – especially for the Canadians. That can only be a good thing given how far behind the likes of Mexico and United States they are in this department, and in general, it definitely seems like a great deal of fire power is being put into the 2026 WC effort. As we all know the 1994 World Cup created quite a buzz in the States, to the point where it led to the creation of Major League Soccer. Whilst we aren’t exactly expecting something similar to that, we do tend to believe there’s a great deal of potential here. There’s a fanbase ready to be exposed in North America, and in terms of our expectations for how things are going to go, we’re definitely eager to see what kind of impact this has.
Stay calm, or try
We do think the 48 team rule could have a negative impact on things, though, to the point where interest could diminish as the tournament goes on. We aren’t suggesting that it’s going to be a key factor behind any kind of downfall or anything like that, but at the same time, we recognise how well the format works in its current, well, form.
The worry for us is that political issues get in the way of them achieving something really great here, because let’s face it, we’ve been in that position before with FIFA.
A fair tournament with a distinct lack of controversy – that’s what we expect. Hopefully.