FIFA Proposal of World Cup Expansion to 48 Teams Greeted Coldly

The 2018 FOFA World Cup is just over a month distant, so you know what that means.

The posturing around the 2022 World Cup is in full swing.

The European Leagues have expressed extreme skepticism about the prospect of expanding the FIFA World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, which would necessitate 16 extra games at four or more days being added to the World Cup fixture.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar in November and is currently scheduled to require 28 days. If that number of days were boosted to 32, the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga and possibly other leagues would lose another round of weekend fixtures.

With the World Cup happening as it does, those European leagues, major or minor, have a halt right in the midst of their seasons, an idea which seems to be falling out of favour, with the 2018 Olympic Games in Seoul providing the example of the National Hockey League nixing the idea of letting NHL players have time off during the middle of the season, rather than deal with the disruption, not to mention the revenue hit.

Remarks by Lars-Christer Olsson, head of the European Leagues Group, told the Associated Press, “We are not prepared to make any changes on the calendar for expanding the 2022 World Cup. We have already been flexible to allow the World Cup to be played in the (Qatari) winter and have agreed the dates. We are not prepared for the duration of the World Cup to be any longer.”

When you look at the draw for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia, you cannot help but wonder where FIFA would find another 16 teams. Even at 32, the prospects of any of the countries outside the top-10 already look exceedingly dim.

The only possible positive aspect to expanding to 48 teams from 32 is that some of the teams in the middle of the rankings might last another round.