Mbidi not in favour of 48 teams

11 January 2017 | Sports

Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi is not in support of the 48 World Cup teams expansion as unanimously approved by FIFA's ruling council yesterday.

Mbidi told Namibian Sun yesterday that the expansion of the number of teams was a “brilliant” idea, though.

“I think the expansion is a brilliant idea but the expansion to 48 teams is just too much as the initial plan was only 40. I am not really sure how it went up to 48 and I think it is a high number that would compromise the quality of the competition,” he said.

He said the World Cup was a high level football competition and only the best got the chance to compete, “so for me I would be comfortable with 40 teams and not 48.”

FIFA's ruling council unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, with a format of 16 groups of three nations.

“The FIFA Council unanimously decided on a 48-team #WorldCup as of 2026: 16 groups of 3 teams,” a tweet from FIFA's official account said.

The decision marks a major coup for the body's president Gianni Infantino, who has made enlarging football's showcase event the centrepiece of his young administration.

The controversial proposal has faced criticism from some of the sport's most powerful voices, including warnings that it would dilute the quality of play and overburden already exhausted players.

But Infantino had in recent weeks voiced confidence that his flagship project would be approved.

While noting that a bigger tournament would bring in more money, the FIFA chief has also argued that more World Cup berths would help drive football's global growth.

Africa and Asia could be the big winners in a larger format with a rise in their number of places, currently at 5 and 4.5 respectively.

But in order to smooth over scepticism about World Cup reform within UEFA, it is likely that Europe will also see its allotments rise above the current 13 places.

A source close to FIFA told AFP that under the new format Europe could get 16 places, with Africa earning nine.

But the information remained unconfirmed and world football's governing body was not expected to immediately announce its final decision on allotments.

The powerful council officially weighed five proposals during Tuesday's meeting at FIFA's snow-covered Zurich headquarters, including maintaining the status quo of 32-teams.

The landmark decision to expand the tournament is the latest overhaul of the World Cup, which has seen its global popularity and financial might surge since the inaugural edition in 1930.

That contest, won by Uruguay, had just 13 countries.

The World Cup expanded to 24 teams in 1982 in Spain before moving to its current 32-team version at France 1998.

- additional reporting NAMPA/AFP

SPORT REPORTER

Similar News

 

'My mind was gone'

13 hours ago | Sports

Defeated Namibian boxer Julius Indongo says his mind was gone when Terence Crawford landed a barrage of punches during their four-belt unification bout at the...

Let's groom them young

13 hours ago | Sports

Recently I attended an awards ceremony in the capital and noticed a seven-year-old girl among the crowd. The girl was on her way to...

Angula needs funds to compete

13 hours ago | Sports

NAMPA Disabled swimmer Matheus Angula, also known as 'Spiderman', needs a cash injection to realise his dream of competing in...

Tennis prodigy seeks sponsors

13 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIHendrina Apollus, a 13-year-old netball prodigy from Katutura, is in need of financial assistance to make her dream of playing tennis in Tunisia a...

Health minister sponsors tournament

13 hours ago | Sports

The Dr Ben Soccer and Netball Tournament will take place at the Onheleiwa sports grounds in the Omusati Region's Etayi Constituency from 29 August to...

Changing lives through wheelchair basketball

13 hours ago | Sports

Local biokineticist Bjorn Magg is helping disabled men and women to find purpose through wheelchair basketball. Disabilities are still wrongly perceived by some as...

SuperSport can broadcast Namibian sport: Khobane

13 hours ago | Sports

Availability of finances and broadcasting rights play a major role in determining whether local sport can be aired on DStv platforms, SuperSport CEO Gideon Khobane...

Stoke steal Arsenal's shine

13 hours ago | Sports

Arsene Wenger believes his side does not receive its fair share of penalty decisions, a view he claimed was demonstrated in their 1-0 Premier League...

Mixed emotions after 'imperfect' Springbok win

13 hours ago | Sports

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee had mixed feelings after a 37-15 Rugby Championship first-round triumph over Argentina in chilly Port Elizabeth on Saturday. “I am...

Mourinho steels Man Utd for 'roadworks' ahead

13 hours ago | Sports

Manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United have found their missing confidence after making a dream start to the Premier League season with back-to-back 4-0 wins....

Latest News

Aandonga 'confused' by leadership dispute

13 hours ago | Cultural

Ondonga community members say they are confused about the ongoing leadership battle within the traditional authority. This was one of the concerns that came...

Ondangwa gambler robbed of N$60...

13 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGE A man was robbed of N$60 000 by two men at a bar in Ondangwa last week.The victim...

Panga killer gets 25 years

13 hours ago | Justice

The Oshakati High Court last week sentenced Ndilinawa Gabriel to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of murder.Gabriel (29) was convicted of...

Infighting plagues NUNW

13 hours ago | Labour

The National Union of Namibian Workers this weekend removed its president, Ismael Kasuto, in what it says was a properly constituted meeting. The removal...

Bail system needs review

13 hours ago | Justice

The minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, has called for a review of the granting of bail by Namibian courts. This follows the...

Beaten to death for a...

13 hours ago | Crime

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Manfred Karl Hartmann (78) in Swakopmund on Friday. Hartmann was beaten to...

Bank Windhoek - Always ready...

13 hours ago | Youth

An initiative such as the Hashtag Festival always is a good fit for Bank Windhoek, which is always prepared to support local sport and...

Swapo seeks experienced top four

13 hours ago | Politics

Anybody aspiring to be a candidate for election as Swapo president and vice-president must have been a party member for at least 30 years, of...

The rise and fall of...

13 hours ago | Opinion

The battle for control of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) has intensified after a faction led by the party's vice-president Steve Bezuidenhout recently...

Load More