FIFA’s President, Gianni Infantino, hopes to expand the World Cup to a 48 team tournament by 2026. Infantino has expressed this idea within his first year of presidency.
FIFA is the governing body of international soccer. Not far in the past, FIFA had a large case of corruption. With FIFA’s corruption scandal still looming in the heads of soccer fans all over the world, Infantino must turn the iconic brand around. Multiple executives and officials were tied to the scandal, including former President Sepp Blatter. Infantino has no easy feat on his hands, since a majority of fans still assume that most people tied to FIFA are corrupt.
The last time there was an expansion in the number of teams in the World Cup was in 1998 when it moved from 24 teams to 32. If the most viewed tournament in the world went from 32 teams to 48 teams, viewership would likely continue to rise. The viewership of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was an astounding 3.2 billion viewers.
But clearly getting more viewers is not Infantino’s intention. For a newly appointed president of a brand that is trying to rebuild itself, trying to make a change as big as adapting the World Cup is a very bold move. Perhaps it is a sign of new positive change and better things to come for what is still seen as a battered organization. It is too early to tell. Currently the proposition to add more teams is not favored by the public.
FIFA made an astounding $2.6 billion profit from the 2014 World Cup, which lasted from
June 12, 2014 to July 13, 2014. With such amounts of money in the air, there is no surprise that bribery and corruption goes on. But Infantino clearly wants FIFA to move forward, trying to leave his mark as he goes.
FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. It has a very rich history, beginning in 1904. The first World Cup tournament took place in 1930, and happens every 4 years. A total of 13 teams were in the World Cup of 1930. Since then, the number of teams continues to grow and is currently at 32.