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Simon
January 10th, 2017, 6:22 AM
Confirmed by FIFA this morning. 16 groups of three, and there is a rumour going around that draws will be settled by penalty shoot-out.

Just fuck off.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 6:34 AM
Fifa in corruption shocker.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 6:38 AM
What is corrupt about this and why is 48 teams a problem?

Simon
January 10th, 2017, 6:38 AM
It's not corruption though is it. They're just pushing through a bill they know won't be questioned by anyone important because there's more money to be made from it.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 6:39 AM
My only problem with this is that it should be 64 teams.

Simon
January 10th, 2017, 6:41 AM
What is corrupt about this and why is 48 teams a problem?

48 teams is a problem because the quality is further diluted. Only one team will get knocked out from each group in the first round, making it something of a procession for most of the top sides...as I said when this was discussed previously,we're getting to a point where the first round of the tournament proper is essentially just a glorified version of the qualifiers, and will eventually be treated as such with far less interest from fans.

The shoot-out thing better not be true. Not because it will negatively affect England, it's just a stupid Americanisation of the game that fundamentally alters how games are played.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 6:44 AM
32 is enough teams and three team groups make it very likely that teams can collude to fix a result so they both qualify. I think it's a bad idea.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 6:45 AM
What is corrupt about this and why is 48 teams a problem?

Of course its corruption. It is all about the new Head of Fifa building up his power base.

Which regions are going to benefit from this? You can guarantee it wont be Europe. Africa and the Middle East/Asia more likely, and the associated bribery/paying for influence that comes with it.

England should just withdraw from Fifa, it needs to be scrapped and started again with proper oversight.

Simon
January 10th, 2017, 6:48 AM
You'll have to explain how it is corruption. There's no deceit involved - FIFA want it to happen and the vast majority of nations want it to happen. They all stand to profit from it - the smaller nations because they have a better chance of qualifying, the bigger nations because there are more potential matches to profit from. It's all about money but it's not corrupt.

Simon
January 10th, 2017, 6:49 AM
32 is enough teams and three team groups make it very likely that teams can collude to fix a result so they both qualify. I think it's a bad idea.

Not if the games go to penalties...

BBF
January 10th, 2017, 6:51 AM
Its not corruption at all. Its just about money and quite openly so.

And Europe will benefit as there will be a larger number of UEFA teams who qualify.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 6:52 AM
Where there is a lot of money, there will always be corruption, particularly in an organisation like Fifa.

Have the Blatter years taught you nothing? Your statement is incredibly naÔve.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 6:54 AM
Not if the games go to penalties...

With three team groups the last match is often played with both teams knowing which result will see them both go through. If that score is then achieved there is no benefit for either team to keep competing (e.g. the disgrace of Gijon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disgrace_of_Gij%C3%B3n)

BBF
January 10th, 2017, 6:55 AM
But the decision isn't corrupt. The decision is actually wanted by the majority because it will make the majority more money for the reasons Simon explained above.

It's probably going to work out worse for us as fans but for the nations and organisations (FIFA, UEFA, CONCACAF etc) it'll be much more beneficial.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 6:55 AM
You'll have to explain how it is corruption. There's no deceit involved - FIFA want it to happen and the vast majority of nations want it to happen. They all stand to profit from it - the smaller nations because they have a better chance of qualifying, the bigger nations because there are more potential matches to profit from. It's all about money but it's not corrupt.

The smaller countries will earn revenue and income from being at the world cup, and likewise the executives at the top of FIFA will receive a kick back for providing more places to qualify. How do you think this vote has been orchestrated. No one in their right mind would want an extended world cup. Just look at the Champions League, no-one gives a toss about the group stages. That is what will happen to the world cup.

Look at the world cup bidding process for goodness sake, that has been corrupt since time began!

BBF
January 10th, 2017, 6:56 AM
With three team groups the last match is often played with both teams knowing which result will see them both go through. If that score is then achieved there is no benefit for either team to keep competing (e.g. the disgrace of Gijon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disgrace_of_Gij%C3%B3n)

Yep but the rumour is that penalties will be used in case of a draw so there would always be a winner and collusion and decreased significantly.

Simon
January 10th, 2017, 6:56 AM
Obviously there is going to be corruption involved at some stage in the proceedings, it's FIFA...but we're talking about the decision to expand the competition - which is not itself corrupt because it doesn't need to be, there's no one of importance pushing against the decision.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 6:58 AM
Apart from the fans, the media, probably a lot of the European countries...

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 6:58 AM
Yep but the rumour is that penalties will be used in case of a draw so there would always be a winner and collusion and decreased significantly.

It doesn't matter, the 'correct' result for both teams could be a 1-0 win. Penalties to end a group match is an idea which really annoys me but I can see it being entertaining.

RFF Champ
January 10th, 2017, 6:59 AM
It's probably going to work out worse for us as fans but for the nations and organisations (FIFA, UEFA, CONCACAF etc) it'll be much more beneficial.

Worse for fans because their wives and girlfriends won't be able to watch Eastenders. Better for fans because more matches.

BBF
January 10th, 2017, 7:01 AM
Worse for fans because their wives and girlfriends won't be able to watch Eastenders. Better for fans because more matches.

Control your household.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 7:05 AM
People said that extending the Euros would dilute the quality but actually it was the best tournament for ages. I don't think there is anything wrong with having 48 teams I just wish that it wasn't three team groups.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 7:05 AM
Control your household.

Or buy a second TV

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 7:19 AM
People said that extending the Euros would dilute the quality but actually it was the best tournament for ages. I don't think there is anything wrong with having 48 teams I just wish that it wasn't three team groups.

The Euros was a fucking sham of a competition. Euro 2016 is a textbook example of how NOT to handle a tournament expansion. The way you do it is to take a critical look at the tournament structure and make strong decisions on how to have the maximum number of meaningful games. My gut instinct, being English and therefore stubbornly opposed to any change, is that penalties for draws is a horrible idea however the biggest problem that jumped off the page when the three-team groups were discussed a couple of months ago was the same problem with Euro 2016 which was that teams were encouraged to play for a draw. That won't be the case here.

Tournaments always expend. There wasn't 32 teams invited when the World Cup was created and it isn't some kind of magic number which can't be changed. I'd have 64 teams, bring the World along. The World Cup is the single best thing about our sport and the more teams who get to sample it the better in my opinion.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 7:22 AM
Apart from the fans, the media, probably a lot of the European countries...

24 European teams qualified for the Euros. 13(?) will go to the next World Cup. It's absolutely in the best interest of the European countries and their fans that this happens. Unless you mean the fans of England, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Our fans are dickheads standing in the way of the future by clinging to what worked 50 years ago. There'd still be 40 passbacks to the keeper every game if you listened to them. Ditto the media.

MMH
January 10th, 2017, 7:23 AM
More teams, more games and it doesnt matter as we will all be dead by 2026 so whats the fuss all about?

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 7:33 AM
Effectively this is a 32-team straight knock-out tournament. Two group matches with very little margin for error and then straight into the meat of the meal. I can get on board with that.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 7:34 AM
Fucking hell MMH.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 7:34 AM
Effectively this is a 32-team straight knock-out tournament. Two group matches with very little margin for error and then straight into the meat of the meal. I can get on board with that.


Why even bother with that, just have a 64 team knock out from off then?

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 7:40 AM
Effectively this is a 32-team straight knock-out tournament. Two group matches with very little margin for error and then straight into the meat of the meal. I can get on board with that.


Why even bother with that, just have a 64 team knock out from off then?

One down side to the smaller nations who rarely qualify is that they are only guaranteed two matches whereas they get three under the current system. A straight knockout tournament would be even worse.

UK Blue
January 10th, 2017, 7:43 AM
All this probably means for England is that we get knocked out in the last 32 instead of the last 16, and play three games instead of four.

I'm not in favour of this expansion as I don't like the idea of three-team groups. I'm not against more teams qualifying in theory.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 7:45 AM
Why even bother with that, just have a 64 team knock out from off then?

That would be my preference but a group stage equals more games and makes it more difficult for the big sides to go straight home (which would be bad for fans - imagine travelling to South America with England just to go out after one game because of a handball or dodgy refereeing decision. Groups give you the comfort and make that less likely which is great for TV and arguably for the tournament as a whole). A two game group is a decent compromise IMO.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 7:46 AM
All this probably means for England is that we get knocked out in the last 32 instead of the last 16, and play three games instead of four.

I'm not in favour of this expansion as I don't like the idea of three-team groups. I'm not against more teams qualifying in theory.

Trouble is if you don't have the three team group then 48 teams would probably mean the same format that the Euros used which was a disaster all round. I think Uefa should have considered four groups of six but then you're creating a bloated group stage.

JP
January 10th, 2017, 7:47 AM
I'm not in favour of this expansion as I don't like the idea of three-team groups. I'm not against more teams qualifying in theory.

Doubling the current pool of teams would enable the current 4 team group format to be kept and add one round of matches to be played. If expansion is going to happen I'm not sure why that isn't the obvious way to go.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 7:52 AM
The 48 qualifying football associations should all offer a brown envelope to FIFA, the 16 nations that give the highest bribes go through to the last 32 and the remaining 32 teams have a traditional group stage with the top two from each group going through.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 7:53 AM
Doubling the current pool of teams would enable the current 4 team group format to be kept and add one round of matches to be played. If expansion is going to happen I'm not sure why that isn't the obvious way to go.

Did you watch Euro 2016? It was a disaster.

JP
January 10th, 2017, 8:01 AM
Did you watch Euro 2016? It was a disaster.

Was it?

I remember Iceland defying the odds, Wales' superb run to the semis, Northern Ireland making the knock out rounds, France inspiring their country, Portugal making history.

Most of the complaints I remember from the Euros centred on it being too easy to get out of the group stage as you could do it finishing 3rd out of 4. Doubling the pool of the World Cup would mean it remains the top 2 go through. Yes, some of the teams making up those groups would be of a weaker standard, but you still have to win those games. Also, I'm quite a fan of the backs against the wall underdogs snatching a win, anything that makes that situation more likely to happen is alright by me.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 8:03 AM
None of those things had anything to do with the group stage. You could have skipped the first two weeks of the tournament and not missed a thing. That's why FIFA have gone a different way. Had Euro 2016 not been the single least satisfactory tournament in the history of football they would have gone that route.

The "backs against the wall underdogs snatching a win" is more likely in this set-up as lengthy group stages will always conspire against smaller teams.

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 8:06 AM
What was unsatisfactory about it exactly?

JP
January 10th, 2017, 8:13 AM
None of those things had anything to do with the group stage. You could have skipped the first two weeks of the tournament and not missed a thing. That's why FIFA have gone a different way. Had Euro 2016 not been the single least satisfactory tournament in the history of football they would have gone that route.

The "backs against the wall underdogs snatching a win" is more likely in this set-up as lengthy group stages will always conspire against smaller teams.

I'd suggest Iceland and Northern Ireland getting out of the group stage had everything to do with the group stage.

That said, fair point, essentially making it a knock out tournament does make potential upsets more likely, and keeping at least a small group stage means it's still worthwhile for fans to travel to support their team. I suppose we'll see how it pans out, unless MMH is right and we're all decaying in a Nuclear Hellscape by then.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 8:15 AM
I think if the majority of the world's population has been reduced to charred bones and ash then England have a great chance of getting to the semi finals.

JP
January 10th, 2017, 8:17 AM
I think if the majority of the world's population has been reduced to charred bones and ash then England have a great chance of getting the the semi finals.

What is it with England? One or two things go our way and we always get over optimistic.

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 8:18 AM
You go from 48 to 32 with either way so mathematically smaller teams are no more or less likely to make it out of the group but the way they are proposing gets you there quicker and without the potential for collusion between two teams to draw a match. In the summer teams were able to qualify with three points and, technically, with two which encouraged teams to play for a draw.

Small teams will still shut up shop against the big teams but that happens in Leagues everywhere every week. It'll be down to the big team to break those defences down knowing that they can't just rely on taking the point and moving on regardless.

MMH
January 10th, 2017, 8:26 AM
Fucking hell MMH.

http://esq.h-cdn.co/assets/16/32/1600x800/landscape-1470674182-es-080816-trump-nuke.jpg

wardy
January 10th, 2017, 8:57 AM
Euro 16 was the worst tournament I can remember what the fuck are JP and Bad Collin up to.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 8:58 AM
I really enjoyed it

MMH
January 10th, 2017, 9:27 AM
I really enjoyed it

Yeah so did I.

Bad Collin
January 10th, 2017, 9:31 AM
According to Paul McInnes in the Guardian


The proposed breakdown would comprise: Europe 16 teams (13 currently); Africa 9 (5); Asia 8.5 (4.5), South America 6 (4.5), Concacaf 6.5 (3.5), Oceania 1 (0.5), Host nation 1 (1).

Giving CONCACAF more places than South America and almost doubling the number of places for Asia? Why don't they just give China and America automatic qualification?

Romford Pele
January 10th, 2017, 9:55 AM
Yeah so did I.

I take it you aren't English then.

MMH
January 10th, 2017, 10:03 AM
I take it you aren't English then.

Well...no

wardy
January 10th, 2017, 10:49 AM
Don't get me wrong I enjoy any international tournament and the last World Cup was probably the best I've ever seen but the Euros were just meh. Thinking back through every World Cup and Euros I can remember it easily ranks at the bottom.

MTR
January 10th, 2017, 11:33 AM
This is lame. I hate the thought of a bigger tournament. In my view 32 was a great number.

Do really need that many teams from our region? I can see getting some more teams from Europe and South America and that being good. But yeah I love my region and all but give us like 4 slots and a playoff for a 5th.

Meh. I just hate this. It was fine the way it was.

Percussion
January 10th, 2017, 2:25 PM
3-team 2-game groups sounds terrible
Penalties in groups sounds terrible
More emphasis on knockout and less on group sounds terrible
Devaluing qualification sounds terrible

Not a fan of this at all.

connorboy
January 10th, 2017, 4:44 PM
It's all a con thought up by panini. That sticker book is going to be about 1500 stickers

Beefy
January 10th, 2017, 4:47 PM
3-team 2-game groups sounds terrible
Penalties in groups sounds terrible
More emphasis on knockout and less on group sounds terrible
Devaluing qualification sounds terrible

Not a fan of this at all.

Knock out football is infinitely better than group stage football

Percussion
January 10th, 2017, 5:21 PM
I think it's best they both enjoy their own equal value throughout the tournament and don't prefer one highlighted over the other.

RFF Champ
January 10th, 2017, 5:30 PM
Knock out football is infinitely better than group stage football

Yeah but if you're increasing then 5 team groups are way more interesting than 3.

Seanny One Ball
January 10th, 2017, 5:32 PM
3 teams in a group is madness. Madness!

Simmo Fortyone
January 10th, 2017, 9:14 PM
According to Paul McInnes in the Guardian



Giving CONCACAF more places than South America and almost doubling the number of places for Asia? Why don't they just give China and America automatic qualification?
CONCACAF has 35 teams, CONMEBOL has 10. Makes sense to me that they have half a spot more.

I like Mourinho's view on it


Iím totally in favour. As a club manager, if the expansion meant more games, less holidays and less pre-season for players, I would say no. But itís important for critics to analyse and understand that expansion doesnít mean more matches. Players are protected and clubs are protected in this way. I prefer groups of three. Two matches and then through to the knock-out stages or go home. This way, the two group matches are crucial, then the knock-out stage is next which brings even more emotion. Teams with less potential and experience will probably play two matches and go home. But they would do so having improved and gained experience on the pitch, which would be added to the economic rewards of appearing at the finals - including further investment in their footballing infrastructure.

The expansion means that the World Cup will be even more of an incredible social event. More countries, more investment in different countries in infrastructure, in youth football. More nations taking part means more passion, more happiness, more enthusiasm. More countries means more Africans, Asians, Americans together. Football is developed in the clubs, so we canít expect football to explode in terms of quality at a World Cup. The World Cup is a social event and football canít relinquish this opportunity to further reflect fansí passion.

MTR
January 12th, 2017, 11:22 AM
From a numbers perspective I get why we would get more spots that South America. But I don't think we need that many more spots but then again that goes back to I hate expanding the tournament.

MichaelC
January 12th, 2017, 11:36 AM
I like it. More teams, the better. The formats a bit strange, but they can work on that now the team numbers have gone up. I don't give a shit about "diluting quality", I want to see more teams from Africa and the Americas, they tend to be good entertainment value mostly.

Also, Euro 2016 was pretty enjoyable. Well, until Wales and Germany went out and we got stuck with France/Portugal... But the teams that made the tournament were the ones who wouldn't have qualified under the old system.

Percussion
January 12th, 2017, 12:01 PM
Let's just have all 211 member nations in some set of groups that widdle down to 128 with a giant final knockout bracket from there.

MichaelC
January 12th, 2017, 3:32 PM
Good idea, though we best make it 256 nations just in case Scotland still manage to bugger up qualifying...

Simmo Fortyone
January 12th, 2017, 7:48 PM
Good idea, though we best make it 256 nations just in case Scotland still manage to bugger up qualifying...
We'll need a few more civil wars

son_of_foley
January 13th, 2017, 10:20 AM
Cant be fucked to google but assuming this is from 2026 onwards? Will we see a euro 2020 approach with many many countries hosting? I expect eventually many continents will host the world cup. I know that sounds a bit weird but I can 100% see them doing it. Africa and Europe in particular

MMH
January 13th, 2017, 10:31 AM
Cant be fucked to google but assuming this is from 2026 onwards? Will we see a euro 2020 approach with many many countries hosting? I expect eventually many continents will host the world cup. I know that sounds a bit weird but I can 100% see them doing it. Africa and Europe in particular

They are going to have to. Not many nations could host a competition that big otherwise. Could open a UK bid quite easily. Having 4 host teams automatically qualify wouldnt be an issue either.

Percussion
January 13th, 2017, 11:57 AM
Cant be fucked to google but assuming this is from 2026 onwards? Will we see a euro 2020 approach with many many countries hosting? I expect eventually many continents will host the world cup. I know that sounds a bit weird but I can 100% see them doing it. Africa and Europe in particular

USA-Canada-Mexico have stated an interest in bidding together for 2026.