Saturday, February 4, 2023

New 48-team World Cup doesn’t surprise Polish coach

DOHA ( Associated Press) — The drama of simultaneous split-screen broadcasts of matches is a thing of the past during the final day of the World Cup group stage.

There will be 48 teams in 2026, 16 more than in Qatar this year, and a different format will be used in which opponents from the same group no longer face each other at the same time, with late goals qualifying and Elimination.

Poland’s coach Czeslaw Michniewicz, who led his team to the last 16 in Qatar, is not in favor of the upcoming changes, even if they give them a better chance of success in soccer’s top tournament.

FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, is considering scrapping the potentially correct structure for the competition that has worked excellently since 1998: eight groups of four nations that leave the round of 16 with 16 participants. Let’s give

The next tournament, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, will have 16 groups of three nations and 32 teams will advance to the first knockout round.

“I think it can spoil the show sometimes,” Michniewicz said on the eve of facing defending champions France in the round of 16. “Sometimes less is more and the more teams there are, the easier it will be. Will it be attractive to fans?

Poland was one of the teams caught up in qualifying drama in Qatar in recent days. They had lost to Argentina and could have been eliminated if Saudi Arabia had conceded a third goal against Mexico in the other group game played at the same time.

In another group, after defeating Portugal, South Korean players formed a circle on the pitch waiting for Uruguay not to score in injury time against Ghana. Group E saw Costa Rica rise and fall in the last 20 minutes until Germany eliminated them with their last goals, while Spain survived elimination despite losing to Japan in the second match.

The FIFA Council agreed to the new format in 2017, despite the fact that its study concluded that a model with 32 countries offered higher quality tournaments.

The new format will add 16 games to the calendar, bringing the total to 80, but it is expected to still fit into the usual 32 days.

Nation World News Desk
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