Breaking News
March 22, 2017 - EXCLUSIVE: 'Little Women: LA' Star Terra Jolé Opens Up About Cancer Scare: 'It's Definitely a Hard Thing'
March 22, 2017 - Mass Effect: Andromeda has performance issues on both Xbox One and the base PS4
March 22, 2017 - Atari 8-bit fans: this is your next read
March 22, 2017 - TFC signs veteran defender Jason Hernandez
March 22, 2017 - Jennifer Lopez on Finding 'Meaty' Roles for Latina Actresses 20 Years After 'Selena': 'It's Still a Struggle'
March 22, 2017 - PSA: Starting a new game in Breath of the Wild will permanently delete your saves if you don’t switch accounts first
March 22, 2017 - EXCLUSIVE: Lady Gaga's Ex Taylor Kinney on Dating After Split: 'I Don't Think I Have a Type'
March 22, 2017 - Stephen Hawking calls for creation of world government to meet AI challenges
March 22, 2017 - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Are Releasing a Joint Album!
March 22, 2017 - 'I really think people will die': Americans fear losing health care under Trump's plan
March 22, 2017 - Stanford researchers accidentally discover a whole new role for the cerebellum
March 22, 2017 - North Korea conducts another missile test, reportedly unsuccessful
March 22, 2017 - Tardigrades survive extreme dehydration by turning into glass
March 22, 2017 - Bettman on Olympics: 'Assume we are not going'
March 22, 2017 - Donald Trump to attend NATO summit in Europe
March 22, 2017 - Prostate cancer patients report that surgery offers worst outcome on quality of life
January 20, 2017 - Chief asks: Could courts force Canada to spend more on First Nations suicide prevention?
January 20, 2017 - Sony’s silence on PlayStation VR could spell trouble for the fledgling market
January 20, 2017 - Kourtney Kardashian Posts Selfie With Deep Lyric by The Weeknd in Caption: 'Tell Me How to Love'
January 20, 2017 - Max Parrot leads Canadian slopestyle sweep in Laax
World Cup expansion to 48 teams could net FIFA extra $640M

World Cup expansion to 48 teams could net FIFA extra $640M

The best and most profitable way to expand the World Cup is a 48-team tournament of 16 three-team groups, according to FIFA’s in-house research which accepts the current 32-nation format produces the highest quality soccer.

The preferred format announced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino this month rates highest in a 64-page analysis of five options for the 2026 World Cup, the first when change can be made.

FIFA concludes “the 48-team (16×3) format would appear to offer the most tangible and intangible value,” in the document seen by The Associated Press.

With extra knockout games in a new Round of 32, the format of 80 matches — each in an exclusive time slot over 32 days — appeals to broadcasters and sponsors and would raise income, FIFA suggested.

Kickoffs in prime time

FIFA also wants to please fans and broadcasters in “major markets” by creative scheduling of kickoffs in their prime time back home rather than in the host nation.

Revenue could rise almost 20 per cent to $ 6.5 billion, using the projected $ 5.5 billion income from the 2018 World Cup in Russia as a base comparison. Though organizing costs would also project to rise, from around $ 2 billion to $ 2.3 billion, the potential profit would increase by $ 640 million, the research said.

Still, FIFA cautions ahead of its ruling Council’s planned Jan. 10 vote in Zurich that “it should not be a financial decision”

“Instead, the goal of expanding the FIFA World Cup is to further advance the vision to promote the game of football, protect its integrity and bring the game to all,” the document noted.

However, it does not specify a detail that UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin asked for — how the 16 extra places would be shared among six continental confederations. UEFA now has 13 qualifying slots and could be in line for 15 in a political process set to best reward Africa and Asia.

FIFA acknowledges that quality of play could drop by adding 16 more of its 211 member federations.

The “absolute quality” of soccer — with high-ranked teams playing each other most often — is achieved by the 32-team format being used in Russia and at the 2022 event in Qatar. FIFA said it made 10,000 tournament simulations to reach that conclusion.

Keeping the 32-team format is one option but FIFA’s research shows clear intent to change that was promised during Infantino’s election. He campaigned for a 40-team tournament that would give Europe a new quota of 14.

’16×3′ most popular option

Infantino now points to “16×3” being the most popular option.

“The big, big, big majority is in favour of the 48 teams with the 16 groups of three,” the FIFA leader said after a Dec. 7 meeting of some members in Singapore.

Infantino previously promoted 48 teams with an opening playoff round involving 32. That idea failed to persuade FIFA members and commercial partners who want more certainty, less short-notice travel for fans, and a minimum of two matches per team.

Expansion for the first time since 1998 is “viable without major concessions on the sporting aspects of the tournament,” FIFA insisted.

The biggest change a 16×3 format could force is penalty shootouts after drawn group games to ensure there is a ‘winner.’ That radical change to soccer rules, first reported by the AP, would help stop teams conspiring to arrange a favourable result in the final group game.

FIFA has sent the research document to Council members and member federations, who want more World Cup slots to help encourage young players and sponsors at home.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Related Articles