Prepare yourselves for an even larger Finals tournament every four years!
FIFA have sussed out that more teams in the Finals = more matches = more advertising revenue = even more money for FIFA ... Well, TIF (This Is FIFA).
From the Bangkok Post today...
GENEVA: The best and most profitable way to expand the World Cup is a 48-team tournament of 16 three-team groups, according to in-house research by Fifa.
However, the report by the world governing body of football also acknowledges that the current 32-nation format produces the highest quality football. That suggests the emphasis is on "most profitable" when Fifa discusses how to make the world's biggest sporting event even bigger.
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 a change can be made.
Fifa concludes "the 48-team (16x3) 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.
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% to US$6.5 billion, using the projected $5.5 billion income from the 2018 World Cup in Russia as a base comparison. Though organising costs are also projected to rise, from around $2 billion to $2.3 billion, the potential profit would increase by $640 million, the research said.
Read the rest at: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/ ... cup-awaits
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