ARE the FIFA bigwigs really out of their minds?
Do we really need a 48-team World Cup Finals?
The first World Cup in Uruguay had only 13 teams. Then, from 1934, 16 teams took. That increased to 24 from 1982 before FIFA added eight more teams to make it 32 from 1998 in France.
The World Cup is an elite tournament for the best of the best.
By expanding the field, as what the FIFA Council have agreed to do beginning from 2026, they are only going to turn the World Cup into a mockery.
Knowing FIFA, it’s easy to understand why they want more teams in the Finals.
Money – plain and simple.
Like everything else in this world, meritocracy means nothing.
It’s money that makes the world go round.
Money talks – and FIFA know it.
So, who cares if some mediocre teams make the Finals and the tournament features boring games as long as FIFA’s coffers are overflowing, right?
That is the only reason I can think of that makes sense of FIFA’s utterly ridiculous decision.
But, then again, FIFA have long been known to put money first. How else can you explain the high level of corruption that is prevalent in the world football governing body?
As long as we have people who put money first, and the game second, the beautiful game is going to lose its charm.
Many new and youthful sports are springing up all over the world. Youngsters like these games because they are exuberant, daring, dangerous, exhilarating and, basically, interesting.
So, if you want to bore these youths with meaningless matches between also-ran teams, then FIFA, you are going to lose more spectators.
Keeping the numbers low at 32 will also help maintain the high standards that have been set all these years.
Let only the best battle it out for the right to be crowned and declared world champions.
Don’t devalue the importance of the World Cup Finals just so that you can fill your bank balances with extra zeroes.
So, for goodness sake, just stick with the current 32-team format, FIFA.
On a personal note, I am 110% sure that even if FIFA were to expand the World Cup Finals to 100 teams, Malaysia is not going to make the cut.
So, please don’t fix what’s not broken.
Sport editor R. Manogaran can’t wait for Sunday to come fast enough as he expects Liverpool to get a good result against arch-rivals Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams.