FIFA: What is Your Malfunction?
As my old club soccer coach famously yelled to me across the indoor pitch after I made my very first mistake with my new team, “Boy, what is your malfunction?”
Read the quote below and you’ll understand why I opened with that priceless soccer memory.
“An initial stage of 16 groups of three teams will precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32 when the change is made for the 2026 tournament.
The sport’s world governing body voted unanimously in favour of the change at a meeting in Zurich on Tuesday.”
–BBC Football Online
Shocking? No. Sad? Yes.
Most importantly: Will the World Cup evolve into a better tournament through this expansion effort in 2026? No.
As has been recently discussed in more depth on Jimmy’s Daily Planet back on December 28th (Participation Trophies…for Adults?), the competitiveness of the World Cup will suffer with this expansion. Additionally, FIFA, which is governed by the new president Gianni Infantino, has voluntarily prolonged the embarrassing era with its overarching reputation of bribery and corruption.
To Mr. Infantino and the soccer federations, however, perhaps the influx of money will (again) be enough to quell legitimate concerns of dedicated fans around the world of lessening the competitiveness and difficulty of simply qualifying for the golden opportunity of competing on soccer’s grandest stage.
The future of 48 teams in a World Cup is set to become reality. It’s happening (insert groans here). And those who will argue that this addition of a dozen teams will be superior to the current model with 32 teams were also likely arguing for the Microsoft Zune over the Apple iPod way back when…
On that note: Do you own a Zune? Just because something is new doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. There can be unforeseen (and very easily seen) malfunctions that occur with its users.
Lucky for me, my aforementioned malfunction was a solitary bad pass. FIFA’s malfunctions will have much more serious, enduring consequences.