Alternative structure to 48 team world cup

Salisbury Lad

New Member
Jan 9, 2018
Reaction score
Nottingham Forest

Whilst I understand the desire to increase the number of teams in the World Cup, I do not think that the proposed format for 48 teams is the best for the reasons I state below.

If it was down to me, I would leave it as 32 teams as I think that is perfect, but I understand there are other considerations.

Things about the FIFA proposed structure I don't like are:

1. Sixteen teams will only play 2 games each.

It seems like a heck of a lot of work and effort to only play 2 games.

2. In each group, to have 2 out of 3 teams go through to the knockout stage is too many. The current balance of 50% of the teams in a group going through is a much better balance.

If it is too easy for teams to go through, people will lose interest.

3. The increased likelihood of the 2 teams playing in the last match being able to collude to produce a favourable result that allows them both to go through. It may not even be collusion, just the fact that knowing the previous results means you may be happier with a certain result and play that way.

I understand FIFA has acknowledged this and has said this will be reviewed, but I would have thought after all the problems that FIFA has had over the past few years, even any suggestion of collusion is not a sensible way to proceed.

Even if you did not allow a draw (one idea from FIFA was that any game finishing in a draw could have a penalty shoot-out), I find it difficult to envisage that FIFA can find a system that takes away the possibility of collusion.


My suggestion to improve on the FIFA format is as follows:

1. Have 12 groups of 4 teams, with each team playing each other as normal (so 3 games each).
2. The top 2 teams in each group go through to the knockout phase (24 teams).

So this is the same as today - it works perfectly today, so why change it.

3. This is where it changes - clearly 24 teams does not divide neatly into a knockout round. So what I would do is to say that the top 8 teams (the 8 group winners with best record) go straight through to the last 16.

The remaining 16 teams (i.e. the 4 group winners with the worst record plus 12 runners up) go into a play-off round, with 8 head to head matches. The 8 winners go through to the knockout round.

4. Whatever structure you have, you must get rid of the 3rd/4th place game. This is the biggest waste of time and is completely pointless.


So what advantages does my structure have over the FIFA structure?

1. Each team plays at least 3 games
2. There is a real advantage in trying to win the group, so group games will be more competitive
3. No danger of collusion

I acknowledge that there may be disadvantages also - if you start with 48 teams there is no perfect structure, so it depends on whether you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or not.


1. If a finalist has to play one of the extra knockout games, they would end up playing 8 games instead of 7.

Currently, 4 teams play 7 games each.

Under my structure, the worst case is that if the final 4 teams all took part in the extra knockout game (unlikely), this would mean that 2 teams (the finalists) would have played 8 games, and 2 teams (losing semi-finalists) would have played 7 games.

I think there are ways to mitigate this extra game.

(a) Allow a larger squad. If you increased the squad from 23 to (say) 25 or 26, this would help.
(b) Allow 4 substitutes instead of 3 in the later games.

2. Might last longer than the required 32 days to fit in all of the games.

You might need to have an extra game per day in the first round to squeeze in the games. It would be a real advantage not to host the World Cup somewhere with ridiculously high temperatures so you can do this without damaging player welfare.


Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2015
Reaction score
Curzon Ashton....and Carlisle
i'd be pretty sure the only reason they want an extended world cup is to get china into it....and make sure US and Australia are in also.

its just down to money, nothing else and will make for an awful competition full of many tedious worthless games.......much like the Champions league.


New Member
Oct 19, 2017
Reaction score
Brazil national football team
I agree it's all going to come down to bringing in more revenues. expanding into new territories could bring in a lot of new fans, regardless of how well the matches are played.

Forum statistics

Latest member

Latest posts

Stronger Security, Faster Connections with VPN at!


W88 W88 trang chu KUBET Thailand
Fun88 12Bet Get top UK casino bonuses for British players in casinos not on GamStop
The best ₤1 minimum deposit casinos UK not on GamStop Find the best new no deposit casino get bonus and play legendary slots Best UK online casinos list 2022
No-Verification.Casino Casinos that accept PayPal Top online casinos