The 48 Team World Cup: What to Expect.

Today news broke that FIFA has decided, by unanimous vote, to completely overhaul the current format of the Worlds greatest footballing showpiece.

All you need to know about this new, mega-World Cup can be found here:

With so many changes to take in, here at Footyblog we have come up with seven things you can expect from the new, sparkly World Cup.

  • You’re never going to remember who is in which group, so don’t bother trying.

If you thought memorizing eight groups (A-E) was hard enough, it is going to be nigh on impossible to remember where on earth your team is hiding in amongst 16 groups. How are things looking in Group L you ask? Who the hell knows…

  • There will be more, small obscure nations to knock England out.

With an extra 16 spaces to be filled at the 2026 tournament, it can only be logical to expect England to find a way to provide a small, never-before-qualified nation with the greatest day in their footballing history.

Martin Tyler: “We have played witness to a historic day in football, a day that will never be forgotten in the hearts and minds of these Ugandan fans inside this stadium! England stumble yet again!”

  • Gareth Bale will qualify.

And 22 other blokes will tag along.

  • Penalty shootouts in the group stage.

Now these reports are, as of yet, unconfirmed, but it is believed Gianni Infantino is looking at the idea of introducing penalty shootouts in the group stages as a way to avoid tactical draws and dead rubber fixtures. Not sure how exciting the prospect of a New Zealand versus Canada penalty shootout sounds but hey, maybe he will prove us wrong.

  • More random discoveries of unknown relatives that qualify certain players for certain nations.

Having pursued his dream of playing for Belgium his whole life,  player concerned misses out on a spot in the World Cup squad, two days later he is named in the Bosnian squad who also qualified, having found out that his great uncle had had an affair with a Bosnian lady 27 years ago.

  • More abysmal name pronunciations from the commentators.

Commentators are going to have to find subtle ways to avoid actually saying players names on a more regular basis. We can expect a lot of, “Great effort from the Zimbabwean forward” type statements.

  • FIFA will make more money.

Somewhere, in a lavish Swiss villa, a certain Mr. Sepp Blatter will be kicking himself for having not come up with this idea himself. With 80 games and 48 teams the tournament will be 50% bigger and FIFA, based on early estimates in today’s markets, are expected to rake in an extra $ 1 billion by the end of their 48 team tournament. Perhaps all you need to remember from this piece is that FIFA will, unsurprisingly, be richer by the end of it.


By Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.