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FIFA Looking to expand 2022 WC to 48 teams, add second host country

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https://apnews.com/421dca3cbf454bf191cfc3af9f4dc685

A FIFA feasibility study concluded the 2022 World Cup can expand to 48 teams by using at least one of Qatar’s neighbors as an additional host, and found there is a low legal risk to changing the format and an additional $400 million in revenue could be generated.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the 81-page report on Monday that assesses the political, logistical and legal issues surrounding adding 16 teams — a significant change to the format more than eight years after Qatar won the hosting rights. The report was prepared by the governing body so its FIFA Council can agree in principle on expanding the tournament at a meeting in Miami on Friday. A final decision would come in June.

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6 minutes ago, BuzzAndSting said:

I wonder if JH and the CSA had an idea this may be coming? They've talked a lot about qualifying for 2022, which despite our current roster I've found ambitious.

I think the pressure to qualify would go up immensely if it ends up being the 48-team format for 2022. Failing to qualify with 6 slots given our current crop of players would be a failure and I don't see how Herdman could survive that.

 

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1 minute ago, Obinna said:

Not a fan of the 48 team WC in general, so I am on board with this even less so.

Agreed, even if it is better for us.

In terms of general format, I'm trying to draw some positives. Perhaps with a round of 32 (i.e. a big bracket), you'll get more casual fans involved/invested in a March Madness type of way.

A big knockout bracket like this will create some compelling storylines, when a plucky underdog knocks off a favourite.

(Just grasping for positives here)

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It's not clear this would help us qualify, it may actually screw us over.  An expanded WC makes it all the more likely Concacaf and Conmebol will merge qualification.

Joint qualifiers would have 12 teams qualify in total. I don't think we're top 12 in this hemisphere. We'd be fighting it out with the usual central American and Caribbean suspects plus Venezuela and Bolivia.

Can't believe this isn't settled yet.

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3 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

It's not clear this would help us qualify, it may actually screw us over.  An expanded WC makes it all the more likely Concacaf and Conmebol will merge qualification.

Joint qualifiers would have 12 teams qualify in total. I don't think we're top 12 in this hemisphere. We'd be fighting it out with the usual central American and Caribbean suspects plus Venezuela and Bolivia.

Can't believe this isn't settled yet.

It's 6 slots per confederation...not 12 combined.

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14 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

I'm genuinely curious how likely this is too happen though considering we are only a few years out. Does a country like say Saudi Arabia have the ability to co-host? 

UAE just hosted the Asian Cup. 

Now there's a lot of political shenanigans between Qatar and most of Middle East right now, so Qatar finding a co-host is going to be tricky. (Saudi Arabia + allies blockading Qatar)

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1 minute ago, BrennanFan said:

I don't see how they merge qualifying without merging and creating a new confederation entirely.

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12 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

I don't see how they merge qualifying without merging and creating a new confederation entirely.

If that's the case, CONCACAF region may actually lose bids with almost all of CONMEBOL likely to qualify instead.

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To be completely honest, at first I hated the idea but it has grown on me.  Before 1998, I'm sure there were people arguing against a 32 team format and likely the same back before the 80s when it was a 16 team tournament.  The world cup as continued to expand over the decades as popularity continued to grow and its no difference now.

And it is the exact same amount of soccer games so not difference from that aspect.

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17 minutes ago, SkuseisLoose said:

I would rather we qualify once with the 32 team format so we can prove we have at least some reason to deserve the World cup in 2026 besides from the time we went 40 years ago.

They can prove it by finishing top three out of the six teams that qualify. 

 

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5 hours ago, lazlo_80 said:

Not sure how I feel about this. Obviously helps us. Just not sure what it means for how i enjoy the world cup. Feels like the group stage will be quite watered down. Also wonder if there's a point of too much soccer. We'll see I suppose.

I get what you are saying, but the reality is that there are all sorts of on-the-cusp teams like us that are excluded in the current format. Expanding to allow a few more teams - and their fans - enjoy the WC is not a bad thing IMO.  If you don't want to watch a group game between teams in the 33-48 range, there is always that option.  There will still be plenty of high quality games, and all the post-group-stage matches.

 

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The one time, ONE TIME we really feel like we have a team. Like we can qualify by kicking down the front door and announcing our presence on the world stage and I hear they are seriously considering making 2022 48 teams and also - what I consider to be more detrimental- people want to merge qualifying with CONMEBOL?!?!  What the hell. We need to legitimately qualify before 2026, I just feel like people will dismiss us if they add 16 teams for 2022 and say we wouldn’t have qualified otherwise. 

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7 hours ago, mpg_29 said:

I don't see how they merge qualifying without merging and creating a new confederation entirely.

You could make the exact same arguement for both confederations hosting an annual Pan American cup.

I believe if Concacaf continues to show interest in conjoining the two confederations international tournaments, it is completely understandable that Comnebol would want to merge WCQs and take some of our spots.

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