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More World Cup changes thrown around as Platini wants 40-team format

Oct 28, 2013, 10:43 AM EDT

EURO 2016 Steering Committee Meeting Getty Images

UEFA President Michel Platini has laid out a plan to expand the World Cup to 40 teams, scrapping the current 32-team format.

The move was prompted by Sepp Blatter’s recent revelation that FIFA is interested in reducing the number of European teams participating in favor of adding more African and Asian countries.

According to Platini, his plan would only extend the World Cup by three days, adding more group stage matches by expanding each group to five teams, but still only the top two would advance.

“I totally agree with Mr Blatter that we need more African and Asian [countries]” said Platini. “But instead of taking away some European, we have to go to 40 teams. We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American, one Oceania and one from Europe.”

Platini wants his plan to be instituted by the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

It’s no shock that the president of the European governing body doesn’t want to see his region lose members taking part in the finals, but an increase to 40 teams seems a bit reactionary.

  1. krazymunky - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Platini cant be worse than Blatter right?? ???

    • mikeevergreen - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      It’s not “Blatter”, it’s BLADDER!

  2. nogoodusernames - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    No, no, NO! Please don’t make the World Cup any bigger, 32 is perfect. Making the tournament should be difficult, to make sure all the teams are deserving, and to ensure quality games. Spots should be handed out based on regional performance at the World Cup. Oh, and Oceana should just be combined with Asia or something, an area which has just a single half decent team should not be a region in a World Cup sense, to say otherwise would be to say the Caribbean should have it’s own region.

    I liked Platini a few years ago, I thought it had integrity, and if he became president, he could possibly make FIFA half decent, maybe somewhat honest, but when he voted for Qatar, and tried to justify it later, it’s just showed me that he’s just another corrupt FIFA suit.

  3. tylerbetts - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    5 team groups is a horrible idea. horrible idea. You lose the ability to have simultaneous kickoffs.

    32 is a perfect number for the World Cup. There is no need to tinker with it.

    • krazymunky - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      but but more countries = more games = more money for Blatter/Platini.

    • mikeevergreen - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      There’s already a World Cup with 5 team groups. The RUGBY world cup. Leave it at that.

  4. Greg - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Platini is a joke, always tinkering. Just look at his dream for Euro 2020.

    • mikeevergreen - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      If he’s going to have 24 teams for the Euro, he ought to invite outsiders, like CONMEBOL does for the Copa America.

  5. talgrath - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Platini and others don’t want to admit that Europe isn’t the one and only place for football in the world anymore. I do agree that Asia and Africa aren’t really there yet in terms of quality to make it worthwhile to reduce the number of European countries yet, but soccer does not start and end with Europe and South America anymore.

  6. mvktr2 - Oct 29, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    The world cup needs an overhaul so that it’s first rounds are played regionally around the world in existing facilities. Then the final 8 teams can go to a world cup nation and have a single elimination tournament. Why? Because it would more widely disperse both financial gain and the financial strain of building facilities in a host country. I side with the people of Brazil and before them S. Africa, there’s no sense in spending billions on infrastructure.

    • mikeevergreen - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Not 8, 16. That would be a proper number. That way the host of the first WC can host the 100th anniversary WC, Uruguay.

  7. footballer4ever - Oct 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    40 teams is stretching it out and it will lose the lackluster of making it to the World Cup , let alone participate in it. In the end, FIFA is behaving like the greedy US eggball league which $$$ blinds them silly.

  8. mikeevergreen - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    C’mon, Mikey Boy! Admit it, this isn’t anything to do with adding more teams from Africa or North America, this has to do with making sure France (or for that matter, you English Chunnel Buddies) NEVER AGAIN fail to qualify!

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