FIFA announced that the 2026 World Cup will be enlarged to accommodate an extra twelve teams and bring it up to 48 that will compete in the prestigious tournament.

FIFA team increase – pros

There are positives seen in the move. Most notably, this will allow less well known football teams to get exposure at world class level and grant them the opportunity to play on the largest of all stages in international football.

For the fans, the best upside is that they will get to watch more matches and from the perspective of FIFA, more games, more teams, means more money and more promotion of the game worldwide.

For the African and Asians teams, they would get more representation, which they will like as they are currently under-represented in the tournament.

People who like the idea are tweeting as follows:

The Cons of so many teams playing the World Cup

Club football is going to take a hit and this will be bad news for footy fans, as so many of the club players will be away from club footy for long periods. Players will have to stretch their fitness levels and for those not used to the hectic competition at international level, many of them could end up being at risk of injury.

Fox Sports Asia reported that one huge con is “The expansion to 32 teams in 1998 has already resulted in several teams qualifying who couldn’t really compete. “

They point out that the games of lower standard really are a turn-off for many fans and nobody wants to watch cringe-worthy defeats.

But of more importance is the issue of match fixing.

This is a very valid point, given embarrassing match-fixing investigations and reports in the past. This could arise out of the fact that with so many teams playing off in group finals, in different venues, there will be opportunity for this kind of ugly side to the sport.

People who hate the idea are tweeting as follows:

One of the most negative reactions has come from the German FA and several Brazilian players.

What do you think about the decision by FIFA to increase the World Cup team numbers to 48? Have your say in the comments below.