Why the World Cup will be better with 48 teams

The most concise answer is the World Cup is meant to be a Cup competition. Not a league. The Cup component will be heightened. The league part is by far the most boring & monotonous. The World 'Cup' has always involved league matches, however.

Taking the competition to 48 teams will involve exactly the same amount of matches as the present 32 team system. Sixteen groups of three will put greater meaning into the league matches. There will be 48 league and 16 cup matches (including 3rd & 4th playoff).



The league matches are completely different in style from the knockouts. Teams are incentivized to score as many goals as possible. This involves over the top wide play. Then a shift to more central play in the Cup stage. As a viewer, it is quite infuriating to gauge how a team will fare just by watching the league matches. This won't change, but each team will now only have 2 league games.

It will not dilute the quality of teams. If one chooses to concentrate on the lower ranks, then yes it will. Why the dilution will not occur is that more European and South American teams can play. Not many more, as FIFA will surely keep the squeeze on to 'diversify' the game. The current situation of Europe not being allowed to field 16 teams, and South America hatcheted to 4 and a half teams will end.

The poor teams will also play one less match before being knocked out.

The viewer will not get to see the best 48 teams. As at present, the best 32 teams aren't there. There is little to be done about this. FIFA is a monstrosity, and one can only shrug. Certainly from a purist view - it would be wonderful to see the best 48 teams.

I have always preferred the Euro group style. Goal difference is not meaningful - it is the head to head that determines qualification. Again, this wont change. It will only be the top team going through. It will be kept as goal difference to create fake excitement for the neutral viewer.

Under the perverse selection rules of countries going to the FIFA World Cup, 48 teams will be better than 32.

Australian update

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