The 2026 World Cup, in the USA/Canada/Mexico, will see the tournament expand to 48 teams. A number which many feel is far too many, and will devalue the prestige of the World Cup.
In the RTE studio, prior to Ecuador vs Senegal, host Joanne Cantwell played devil's advocate and argued that the expansion is in place to make sure continents such Africa have better representation.
Kevin Doyle and Richie Sadlier were both in studio as well, and both men agreed that it was purely a money-making scheme for FIFA, with Sadlier once again calling out FIFA president Gianni Infantino and what he feels are lies from him and his organisation.
"If you think five is an unfair representation in a tournament of 32 for a continent the size of Africa, that's a different discussion," said Sadlier. " That's 'could we bring more from Africa and here's why.'"
"But that's why, that why Gianni Infatino said 'that is why,'" replied Cantwell.
"So I hear Ifantino, I just assume 'don't believe it'," Sadlier hit back with. "What he's saying is going to be different from what he means so disregard the man, everything he says just laugh at him."
Forget all of his 'football for all, this is about spreading the gospel of football around the globe.' It's more money for FIFA, it's probably more money for the people at the top of FIFA, because you have kept more federations and countries happy who wouldn't otherwise be in the tournament. That's the reality of it.
Richie Sadlier Puts FIFA On Blast Over 2026 World Cup
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🗣️'This is a daft idea, it is completely bonkers.'@RichieSadlier isn't a fan of the next World Cup being increased to 48 teams.
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"But the end result is in four years there is going to be 48 teams," continued Sadlier. "And I don't think you can spin that as anything other than a de-valuing of it.
"It could be different, it could be better, sorry there'll be plenty of good games to watch. But the World Cup should be about the elite. There should be loads of disappointment because loads of people shouldn't get there, and a lot of excitement if you do.
"Allowing 48 to go is just a cod."
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