FIFA have announced that from 2026, the number of teams at the World Cup will be increased from 32 to 48. There will be 16 groups of 3, with the top 2 qualifying for the knockout stages. FIFA have said that the move is to be more inclusive. I have no objections to FIFA looking to make the game more inclusive, but I don’t think that expanding the number of countries will help promote football. I think that more countries being at the tournament will result in some mis-matches. The World Cup should be for the best countries in the world, but it will be more difficult to claim this as more and more countries compete at the finals. Also, groups of 3 will mean that the two countries who play each other last in the group stage will know what they need to do, which has led to problems in the past with certain results being played for.
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