Participation Trophies…for Adults?
Sports are about competition, which creates pressure. So, what exactly is the opposite of this construct? And is it worth watching/engaging in?
Ladies and gentlemen, soccer (or football) fans everywhere, we may be finding out the answer to this in the not-so-distant future…
“We would still consider to increase the competition to 40 or 48 teams. A tournament of 48 teams would have the same period of the current one, and federations are all clearly in favour of a World Cup with more teams.”
–FIFA president Gianni Infantino
The modern World Cup features the best 32 national teams as determined by the qualifying-by-region dynamic (North and Central America, Europe, South America, Africa, etc.). As a lifelong soccer fan, the thought of needing or wanting more national teams included in the World Cup has never entered my mind. Never. 32 is a good number. As a matter of fact, 32 is ideal. It’s one thing to ponder expansion if (the key word) adding more teams would improve the greatest tournament on the planet.
The addition of 8-16 national sides won’t make the World Cup better.
The consequence of this decision will dilute the accomplishment of the “original” 32 teams that had to work hard, deal with limited personnel for critical games, sort out inner-squad turmoil and a wide-range of challenges to earn the right to compete for a World Cup every four years with the best-of-the-best. Rich nations qualify and succeed and poor nations qualify and succeed. It’s truly a wonderful sport.
The quote above, courtesy of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, states that the federations are in favor of such an expansion of more national teams.
Duh. It means more money for them.
Wasn’t a focus on money (and the corruption that followed) at the heart of Sepp Blatter’s downfall, as well as being FIFA’s most publicly concerning characteristic? Soccer and world-class competition tragically took a backseat to the former for years and years and years.
More teams = More FIFA. Is this really the best equation for the future of the beautiful game?
If anything, FIFA’s overarching role should be subtracted.