October 3rd, 2016 at 5:12 PM ^

I am not so sure. It takes a great deal of money to send a team of 16 or 22 to a world cup. Expanding the draw to 48 would attract some smaller nations. The cost may not be worth the hassle for them. If it's England who loses out in the 32, but has a chance to get in via a play-in, I can see that. But if it's Chad or Papua-New Guinea, I am not sure they would send a team. 

One can argue citing Olympic Games and small nations. But I don't see those two being comparable. 


October 3rd, 2016 at 11:49 PM ^

You do realize the absurdity of such travel, right? Yes, if the country officials stand to make enough money (think cupcakes) then I can see these happening, as many have already said. 

But that doesn't mean it makes sense. Of course, FIFA (or any international sports body for that matter) and sense shouldn't be in the same room together. 


October 3rd, 2016 at 4:40 PM ^

 I have no interest in seeing Canada or Trinida and Tobago lose 10-0 to Portugal.   Expansion makes some sense when you're trying to include teams that could still win it all, but FIFA is just doing too much with this.

uncle leo

October 3rd, 2016 at 4:48 PM ^

But I think this would be a TON of fun to watch on TV. You get nations such as Iceland who didn't make the draw and would have an opportunity to get in, along with all of their crazy chants and energy. I think it's great.

Sac Fly

October 3rd, 2016 at 5:03 PM ^

4 years of World Cup qualification all for 1 game? The flopping is already bad enough in the 4 game format, 1 game would be terrible.

Not to mention that there's so little parity in international soccer. the 48th ranked team right now is Greece. They're so bad.


October 3rd, 2016 at 4:55 PM ^

This is a stupid idea.  It's just a FIFA moneygrab, and puts the health (and finances) of the star players at risk.

I'm sure Real Madrid has been thrilled with Ronaldo's form after the injury he picked up in the Euros, or Barca two years ago with Neymar's back injury.



October 3rd, 2016 at 5:02 PM ^

The only change I really want to see is getting rid of penalty kicks.  Soccer and hockey are perfect sports for sudden death overtime.  If fatigue for the next game is a worry, start pulling players off like the NHL does.  I know the idea of 5-on-5 soccer sounds a little silly, but deciding who advances by playing soccer is a better idea with any number of players than a free throw shooting contest is.


October 3rd, 2016 at 8:05 PM ^

It won't go six hours when you start pulling players off the field.  I don't care how conservative teams try to play it.  When it's 6 on 6, 5 on 5, someone is going to score.


And again, while that might seem a little cheesy, or less like "real" soccer, it's a lot more like real soccer than a penalty kick contest is.

Yinka Double Dare

October 3rd, 2016 at 5:23 PM ^

The way to do it is to have PKs after regulation and THEN have the extra time. PKs are basically the tiebreaker; if you win PKs, you only need to finish extra time tied. Basically ensures that one team is going hard to score a goal at all times during the extra time, because one team is always "behind" regardless. 


October 3rd, 2016 at 5:56 PM ^

they just need to redistribute the bids from the different confederations; I don't know why CAF gets 5 (they are almost identical in strength to CONCACAF, which gets 3 or 4), while CONMEBOL only gets 4 or 5.

Every time, it's pretty much a guarantee that 1 or 2 CAF teams are going to get absolutely pasted in the group stage.  CONMEBOL hasn't finished last in a group since 2002, and Ecuador still won a game that World Cup.  I can understand they're building the brand or some shit, and they shouldn't pick teams ranked 1-32 straight up every time, but a 50+ ranked team should not be making the World Cup.


October 3rd, 2016 at 7:16 PM ^

If you are a historical power football nation (Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina) what benefit comes from playing teams like Iceland or ?  If you win, you were 'supposed to' and if you lose, you endure near endless suffering....

However, if you are an "Iceland" - your country & fans have lots to cheer for, and for novice fans; you jump the bandwagon (think thunder clap) - and if you win - you're a giant slayer.  So, good for 'smaller' countries.

Which leads to....

"Football is a simple game.

Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."

- Gary Lineker


October 3rd, 2016 at 10:16 PM ^

Never underestimate the greed and gall of people involved in international sports. The IOC and FIFA seemed to be engaged in a race to see who can go lower. 

Part of the interesting part of World Cups is that the top teams gather and fans can see a varity of teams play - a knockout tourney like the one proposed would be ever MORE expensive to mount, subject to even more dubious diving and shenanigans and benefit no fans. So of course it has a chance of happening! :)


October 3rd, 2016 at 11:34 PM ^

This is a terrible idea. I will say that the idea that lower-level teams wouldn't bother to go is absurd. First, because it's the World Cup, the biggest stage in the world. Second, because they're not going to be sacrificed to Brazil or Germany: they will play South Korea or Ireland or USA, winnable games in a win-or-go-home scenario.

And that's where problems arise. Problem one: the politics of seeding. How are high seeds distributed? How are the teams paired? What happens when one confederation all gets knocked out?

And those knockouts bring up the second issue: bad games. A team like Greece can't keep up with Uruguay, but they can turn the game into a defensive slot and play for penalties. Many teams will do this, and the quality of play will be horrible. Someone like C. Ronaldo will get eliminated on a bad call or a coin-flip penalty shootout and it will look bad for everyone.

It's just not going to be good. If they want to expand they need a better idea.


October 4th, 2016 at 1:43 AM ^

As with every postseason expansion where you can *already* fairly determine the best team (all except for the BCS in my lifetime), this is nothing but a $ grab. The last two WC to me made it clear in the group stage who the top 4-6 teams were, and this is why 2nd place teams are like 1-15 in the rd of 16. In fact, to me it was obvious Germany was the best team by far. If anything, they could make qualifiers longer and have an 8 team tournament. That would be a lot more justifiable than this

But full disclosure, i won't be watching the next 2 WC regardless due to the hosts