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Report: CONMEBOL asks FIFA to expand 2022 World Cup to 48 teams


If one confederation gets its way, the expanded 48 team World Cup could be coming sooner than we think.

According to the Associated Press, Alejandro Dominguez, president of CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, has asked FIFA to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams.

As it stands, the World Cup is set to expand for the 2026 tournament, which the United States is hoping to host with Mexico and Canada.

This expansion would present an additional list of logistical challenges in addition to the many issues plaguing the first World Cup in the Middle East.

The 32 team format is already being compressed to 28 days in order to appease clubs that are putting their seasons on hold for a late fall tournament. A 48 team tournament would require more time to complete.


  1. “I really, really think we need to go ahead and “supersize” our 2026 WC bid to 64 teams, not 48. It balances the bracket and we have more than ample stadia and infrastructure to do it and not bat an eye, why not think big and be even more inclusive?”

    quozzel, you are brilliant! i like this idea =D =D

    nothing pisses off our domestic sports rivals (nba, nfl, mlb) more than the fact that, despite all of their lack of respect for soccer, they have NOTHING, no super bowl, no nba final, no world series, they have NOTHING bigger than a world cup and they just HATE that.

    let’s stick the knife in and twist it, shall we? =D

  2. What about taking them out of the confederations all together and having them seeded in different groups no matter where they are from and having the best 32 make it overall. Just have the confederations for Gold Cup, Copa, Euros etc…

  3. I think we stick to the planned amount of teams but how about a play-in tournament for the final few spots? Like get the next best 16 teams and ship them off to play a round-robin in groups of 4 in some country that can’t host the real world cup but needs some sort of tournament hosting exposure. Send four to play in Africa and 4 to play in southeast asia, 4 in former Soviet eastern-Europe, 4 in Peru or something.

  4. simultaneously, Qatar FA asks FIFA to reduce the 2022 FIFA World Cup teams to 16 citing they will only have 6 stadiums ready, all of which are right next to each other

    • I hadn’t realized it but it’s a good point re Qatar. Google map the cities of the venues and convert km to mi and they’re all like 10-30 miles from the one next door. The driving distance from the most N venue to the most S venue is less than 50 miles. Which is setting aside the corruption thing and the heat thing etc etc.

      Personally I prefer world cups to another Champions League or EPL season, but I think the power balance is in the opposite direction, and as such my bet is that a combination of limited venues, limited hotels, and the fact that a winter world cup is already perceived as an “imposition” by the power clubs, means that a 48 team tournament waits til 2026.

      • Like I said, we might as well supersize it while we can.

        If we’re going to host, man, USE OUR SIZE. USE OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.

        I’d go to 64 for ’26. Why? BECAUSE WE CAN!

        Put on the biggest Cup this planet has ever seen. The NCAA’s did not suffer when they expanded to 64.

    • Which “scrub countries” would those be? There’s some interesting teams in that 33-64 range…shucks, Russia is currently ranked #66 in the world. Ivory Coast is #68. China is 73rd.

      Ecuador – who can play some soccer – are currently ranked #64. South Korea is #61. Japan is 60. Ghana is 51, Norway 49, Nigeria 47, Egypt 46, Czech Republic 45, Greece 44…

      …you get the idea. Those are not bad squads and many of them would not make even a 48-team cutdown.

      The game has grown enough, and there are enough good national teams now, that especially by 2026 I think a 64-nation field would more than carry its weight. And the world would absolutely stop to watch the thing, why not make it as inclusive as possible?

      • The idea is to have all the best teams of that specific day in one place, not to CYA that name brand teams in down cycles can still make it every time. A lot of the teams you’re listing are “name brands” who have had better years. But the ranks reflect they aren’t as good now, and some of the ones you’re rattling off aren’t even top 64. What’s next, 96? 128? Invite everyone? I personally like the idea that it’s each region’s top teams and that some cycles you’re just not good enough.

        I agree that recently the qualified nations had started to converge where in a given game on short rest blowouts are less likely. Though a rested team in the knockouts may put 7 on someone. I think group stage blowouts would return if the field went 48, and you start getting into teams advancing on tiebreakers because they had Canada or El Salvador to beat senseless, and someone else had Northern Ireland playing a tight game to 1-0 results. Personally I prefer 32 and that teams advance on the field and not on tiebreaker nonsense.

      • I mean, to me, look at our defense, our ageing midfield, we kind of had a scrub team. Is USA permanently “scrub team?” No. But does this particular crap team deserve a bail out by expanding the field? Ditto. Sometimes, relatively speaking, Brazil, England, us, have “scrubs” compared to what they generally bring or is necessary to compete at the most elite level. Denying it and saying “but they’re Ivory Coast” kind of makes a permanent statement when teams tend to rise and fall over time. We’re not qualifying name brands, we’re qualifying good teams versus bad teams at that moment.

  5. I really, really think we need to go ahead and “supersize” our 2026 WC bid to 64 teams, not 48. It balances the bracket and we have more than ample stadia and infrastructure to do it and not bat an eye, why not think big and be even more inclusive?

    I know people think it would water the brackets down but the fact is there’s a lot more depth teams 1-64 than there was even teams 1-32 back in 1994 when the USA last hosted. You would not see teams losing by scores of 5 or more…as often happened when the minnows got curb-stomped by the traditional powers 25+ years back.

    • It needs to be an honor to get there, but more pointedly, whether we have the infrastructure to do it for ourselves doesn’t speak to whether any other host could reproduce it afterwards.

    • Plus the biggest scam is that “group” play will consist of just two games. It would be better as an NCAA style knockout tournament than how FIFA has proposed.


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