FIFA's ruling council votes unanimously to expand the World Cup finals to 48 teams. Julian Satterthwaite reports.
Football's world cup finals are getting bigger, but not necessarily better. FIFA voting to expand the 2026 event to 48 teams from its current 32. Critics say expansion will lower standards, and make the tournament too long. Four-times world champion Germany says don't tinker with a winning formula. Scotland among smaller nations to welcome the move, which could boost their chances of making the finals. The new format will include a first round of 16 groups of three teams. The qualifying competition likely to become a mere formality for many of the strongest teams. Europe's big clubs argue expansion is politically motivated, and will do nothing for the sport. But FIFA's ruling council unanimously backed expansion. The bigger world cup looks like a done deal.