Once again the governing body of football has shot itself in the foot…again, and again, and again…16 times to be precise.
16 is the number of teams the field of World Cup will expand by in 2026 as it was announced on Tuesday that the number of teams will jump from its current level of 32 to 48. Yes, in case you hadn’t heard the Greedy Bastards tour is adding more nations to its already bloated field. Instead of gun control, perhaps the Swiss government should employ new Idiot Control measures at FIFA’S headquarters in Zurich.
I was never a fan of the expansion of the tournament when it grew from 24 to 32 teams in 1998. It watered down the quality of teams and talent, made the tournament excruciatingly long and made the long and drawn out qualifying process less and less relevant. The primary reason for the expansion clearly didn’t have the best interests of the game at heart. Then again when have they ever.
Expansion was always about greed and not good. Its always been about generating more profits from advertisers and stealing money from fans and they greatly succeeded at that in 1998, reaching previously unseen levels of unaccountability and corruption. But as we all know their grossly-neglegent judgement and self-interest all came to a head in 2015 and nearly destroyed them permanently. New FIFA President Gianni Infantile has long pressed for the expansion declaring it would move the game “into the 21st century.” Others like the European Club Association begged to differ rightly calling the move “regrettable.”
As you will recall about two years ago FIFA President Sep Blatter and other top officials were purged from the organization amid “systematic and deeply rooted” claims of corruption, match-fixing and influence peddling. FIFA vowed to repent and reform in a sickening display reminiscent of a 70s TV evangelist.
The latest development is another full-scale rejection of their hollow promises. It’s just another sign that the actors may have been replaced but nothing has changed at FIFA. Again it’s a case of business as usual whereby profits supercede decisions and legislation that is good for the game.
But this is the big tipping point which will finally destroy them. This time they have gone too far and after the human rights debacles and scandals which will undoubtedly occur at upcoming World Cups in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2016), the FIFA World Cup will limp into a 2026 and a tournament which will have become more and irrelevant. It’s time to put a stop to this disputable band of raiders who continue to rape and pillage our game for their own good once and for all! Thankfully it looks as though they have already started that process themselves.