After an upheaval in FIFA’s top level management, comes a decision on FIFA World Cup that changes a lot of things. Hopefully for the better.
Sepp Blatter, for his part, was engulfed in controversies and misdemeanor charges throughout his tenure. The Eighth President of FIFA had a tumultuous reign for a period of good 17 years until his ban from Football. In the wake of his deposition, expectations were high on Gianni Infantino – the successor. Gianni-led council have taken a revolutionary step to expand FIFA World Cup to 48 teams in contrast to the conventional 32-team format.
FIFA World Cup in Numbers
Since the beginning of Sepp’s tenure in 1998, no decision of this gravity was taken so far. Gianni Infantino has a far vision for the development and scope of Football that inspires this decision, of course. In his address to the Press after the breakthrough decision, he got candid about the prospects of the Zurich Council decision.
Perhaps, a vision such as this was instrumental in Gianni’s appointment at the first place. Unlike his predecessor, Gianni is not the one to mince his words. He is sticking to his end of the bargain and the decision will go a long way too. Not everyone is happy about the developments too. Like always!
On the contrary, many footballers are welcoming the decision to broaden the game’s horizons. The best part is that the proliferation in the number of countries won’t affect the conventional FIFA World Cup timeline. Gianni says that the competition will take place in the 32-day window. In addition to that, the total matches in this period will change from 64 to 80.
— Luís Figo (@LuisFigo) January 10, 2017
Taking all the factors into account, it’s hard to see the downside of this decision. Not only does this raise the stakes of the game, but takes it to remotest distant places. For what it’s worth, the 37-member council are part of a colossal legacy with their unanimous decision.
Gianni asserts that the plan will come to force with the 2026 World Cup. This provides a window of opportunity for the enthusiasts to be a part of the grand competition.