Money the key factor behind 48 team World Cup in 2026

Raucous celebrations broke out in Panini Towers following the news that the 2026 World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams, and some cynics even wished for the return of shamed FIFA president Sepp Blatter with the news that there will be 16 groups of three teams for the new-look World Cup, which has been labelled by new FIFA chief Gianni Infantino as a "more inclusive" tournament.

Inclusivity it may bring, with a host of nations now believing they have a genuine chance of reaching the greatest sporting event of them all, but there's sure to be some matches that are about as exciting as a Checkatrade Trophy first round match, and we all know FIFA's smokescreen of a "more inclusive" football extravaganza is to merely eke out as much money they can from the event.

How Will It Work?

As mentioned above there will be 16 groups of three teams battling it out for a top-two qualifying berth, and with that, 32 teams making it through to the knockout stages, so some could argue the case that the winning side will only need to play seven games to hold the trophy aloft, as they do in the current World Cup format.

But, with this expansion there's a huge loss to the final matchday, as one nation will just have to sit back and watch the other two countries battle it out, and for many of the groups there could be two sides in need of a certain result to qualify (think Germany v Austria at World Cup '82) and this could easily devalue the competition.

There have been murmurings that a penalty shoot-out could be used at the end of any draws during the group stages to decide a winner, which would surely diminish the competition even further as a side could defend heroically for a draw, and lose out on spot-kicks.

Inclusivity Waters Down Quality

Many had celebrated the fact that the World Cup was expanded to 32 teams at France '98, but surely this enhancement to 48 teams will overall prove detrimental to the quality of the tournament, and while it has not been released what football federations will gain more qualification spots then it will surely dampen down an already laborious qualification process.

But, let's focus on the World Cup finals, and with 48 nations battling it out for glory then the quality is sure to be lowered during the early rounds, and interest will only emerge when we get down to the nitty-gritty of the last-16, where the footballing heavyweights begin to clash in mouth-watering fixtures.

Infantino has already been quoted saying their will be a financial upside to a 48-team World Cup, so let's not be duped into thinking about this expansion being introduced to widen the 'Beautiful Game', but it's just to give a platform for FIFA to earn more cash at the highest level.

Posted: Tuesday, 10th January 2017
Author: Steve Chambo

Archive - Previous 5 Football Articles

FA Cup Fourth Round Draw Reaction Chelsea Favourites For The FA Cup Following Fourth Round Draw
FA Cup Fourth Round Draw Reaction
10th Jan
Jose Fonte Next Club Odds Man United and Palace Head The Betting To Sign Jose Fonte
Jose Fonte Next Club Odds
9th Jan
Manchester United V Hull Betting Preview United To Cruise To An EFL Cup Semi Final Win Over Hull
Manchester United V Hull Betting Preview
9th Jan
FA Cup Round Three Team Of The Week A Weekend Of Shocks And Surprises In The FA Cup
FA Cup Round Three Team Of The Week
9th Jan
Walter Mazzarri Still Favourite To Be Sacked Next Slaven Bilic Cut For The Chop Following West Hams Abject FA Cup Exit
Walter Mazzarri Still Favourite To Be Sacked Next
9th Jan

Headline News

2017 Quicken Loans National Betting Preview Bill Haas To Be A Top Tip For The Quicken Loans National
2017 Quicken Loans National Betting Preview
2017 KPMG Women's PGA Championship Betting Preview Ariya Jutanugarn Is Our Best Bet For The KPMG Womens PGA Championship
2017 KPMG Women's PGA Championship Betting Preview
2017 US Senior Open Betting Preview Miguel Angel Jimenez Tipped To Shine At The US Senior Open
2017 US Senior Open Betting Preview
MLS Treble Pays 9/2 New York City To Kick Off The MLS Treble With Another Home Win
MLS Treble Pays 9/2
Harry Kane Next Club Odds Harry Kane Cut For A Move To Manchester United This Summer
Harry Kane Next Club Odds

Bookmaker Offers

  • Deposit between £10 and £200
  • Bet365 will match this with a signup bonus to the same amount
  • Register at Bet365 for full terms

Open Account - £200 Signup Bonus

  • Deposit and place a initial bet of £10
  • Paddy Power will give you £30 in free bets
  • Visit Paddy Power for full details.

Open Account - £30 Free Bet

  • Deposit and place a initial bet of £10
  • Coral will provide you with £30 in free bets
  • Visit Coral for full details

Open Account - £30 Free Bet

  • Enter the Promo Code F50 as you register
  • Place an initial bet of £10 or more
  • Ladbrokes will provide you a free bet of up to £50
  • Bet £50 and get £50 in free bets

Open Account - £50 Free Bet

  • Deposit and place a initial bet of £10
  • BetVictor will provide you with a £40 in bonus funds
  • In addition to this BetVictor will also provide you with a £10 casino bonus

Open Account - £40 Free Bet

  • Deposit and place an initial bet of £5
  • Skybet will provide you with £20 in free bets

Open Account - £20 Free Bet

  • Deposit and place a initial bet of £10
  • Betfred will provide you with a £30 free bet that can be used on any sport
  • You also get a £30 free casino bonus

Open Account - £60 Free Bet

  • Enter the Promo Code C30 as you register a new account
  • Place an initial bet of £10
  • William Hill will give you three £10 free bets

Open Account - £30 Free Bet

  • Deposit and place a initial bet of £20
  • Betfair will provide you with £20 free bet
  • Visit Betfair for full details

Open Account - £20 Free Bet

Online Casino

Online Casino Blackjack and Roulette Games

Those looking for some online casino entertainment ought to check out all the latest UK Casino Sign Up offers from the top operators including 32Red and many of the sports betting casinos.

There is excellent information, should you be interested in playing online blackjack, roulette, the best progressives or slots - Online Casino Betting with the best introductory offers

Sports Calendar - Betting Fixtures