Had this been a 48 team World Cup, this is who would have made it

Sean Miller Fan

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- 2 more out of CONCACAF (Panama, Jamaica)

- 2 more out of CONMEBOL (Peru, Colombia)

- 2 more out of Asia (UAE, Oman)

- 4 more out of Africa (Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Congo)

- 1 out of Oceania (NZ)

- 3 more out of Europe (Ukraine, Sweden, North Macedonia)

- 6 teams in a mini tournament to decide the last 2 spots (El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Iraq, Mali, Solomon Islands)

Originally, it was going to be 16 groups of 3 with the top 2 advancing to the Round of 32 but the odd number of teams means there is potential for collusion in the final group stage game. But if they do 12 groups of 4, it really messes up how they can organize a knockout round.

If they take the top 2 teams in each of the 12 groups:

a) Top 8 teams get bye to R16, lowest 4 group winners plus 8 runners-up play-off

b) 12 group winners get bye to R64, 12 runners-up play mini tournament to get last 4 R16 slots

c) all 24 teams play 1st and 2nd Round games whittling the field down to 6. Reseed, award 2 byes and have 3 play 6 and 4 play 5 for the right to advance to semis?

d) Take the 12 group winners plus only the top 4 runners-up to R16?

e) Take the 12 group winners and have only the top 8 runners-up playoffs for R16 bid.

There's no clean way to do it


Looking WAY ahead, the US will be in Pot 1, the quality of teams would look something like this:

Pot 2: Poland
Pot 3: Tunisia
Pot 4: Oman
 

Fk_Pitt

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- 2 more out of CONCACAF (Panama, Jamaica)

- 2 more out of CONMEBOL (Peru, Colombia)

- 2 more out of Asia (UAE, Oman)

- 4 more out of Africa (Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Congo)

- 1 out of Oceania (NZ)

- 3 more out of Europe (Ukraine, Sweden, North Macedonia)

- 6 teams in a mini tournament to decide the last 2 spots (El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Iraq, Mali, Solomon Islands)

Originally, it was going to be 16 groups of 3 with the top 2 advancing to the Round of 32 but the odd number of teams means there is potential for collusion in the final group stage game. But if they do 12 groups of 4, it really messes up how they can organize a knockout round.

If they take the top 2 teams in each of the 12 groups:

a) Top 8 teams get bye to R16, lowest 4 group winners plus 8 runners-up play-off

b) 12 group winners get bye to R64, 12 runners-up play mini tournament to get last 4 R16 slots

c) all 24 teams play 1st and 2nd Round games whittling the field down to 6. Reseed, award 2 byes and have 3 play 6 and 4 play 5 for the right to advance to semis?

d) Take the 12 group winners plus only the top 4 runners-up to R16?

e) Take the 12 group winners and have only the top 8 runners-up playoffs for R16 bid.

There's no clean way to do it


Looking WAY ahead, the US will be in Pot 1, the quality of teams would look something like this:

Pot 2: Poland
Pot 3: Tunisia
Pot 4: Oman
Damn still no Italy ?
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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There is no plan to make groups of four, because that would mean a lot more games.

16 groups of three, 48 group stage games

12 groups of four, 72 group stage games

They are going to use groups of three, and they are going to get at least a couple games where teams conspire, maybe not overtly but certainly of the "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" variety, to essentially fix games.

It's why they stopped using groups with odd numbers of teams in the past, but no one has ever accused FIFA of learning from it's past.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Damn still no Italy ?

Well, they probably would have used a different qualifying format so maybe Italy makes it but using the same one, North Macedonia knocks them out. Its a crime Europe only gets 16 bids. A team like Italy wouldn't even qualify for the play-in tournament but Solomon Islands and El Salvador would have.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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There is no plan to make groups of four, because that would mean a lot more games.

16 groups of three, 48 group stage games

12 groups of four, 72 group stage games

They are going to use groups of three, and they are going to get at least a couple games where teams conspire, maybe not overtly but certainly of the "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" variety, to essentially fix games.

It's why they stopped using groups with odd numbers of teams in the past, but no one has ever accused FIFA of learning from it's past.

There is growing concern about the odd number of teams and conspiring in that last game so 4 team groups is being considered. I don't see what the big deal is about the extra game. Plus, you could still limit the number of games by doing a 24 team or 20 team knockout round.

If they do the Groups of 3, you'd have to make sure the 2nd and 3rd teams play last since that would likely be like a play-in game where both teams would need to play.

Lets say group is USA, Poland, and Oman. USA beats Oman, draws Poland. Oman could still get through if they beat Poland.
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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I don't see what the big deal is about the extra game. Plus, you could still limit the number of games by doing a 24 team or 20 team knockout round.


The big deal is that it's 24 extra games. Which, if they play three games a day like they do whenever they aren't playing the tournament in the middle of the season for most of the world's leagues, means the tournament lasts another eight days. And reducing the number of knockout games by four doesn't really help that.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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The big deal is that it's 24 extra games. Which, if they play three games a day like they do whenever they aren't playing the tournament in the middle of the season for most of the world's leagues, means the tournament lasts another eight days. And reducing the number of knockout games by four doesn't really help that.

They could easily play 4 games a day. And more games equals more money for FIFA.

Day 1 Groups A and B
Day 2 C and D
3 E F
4 G H
5 I J
6 K L
7 AB
8 CD
9 EF
10 GH
11 IJ
12 KL
13 6 games with the 3 windows starting simultaneously ABC
14 DEF
15 GHI
16 JKL
Day 17-18-19-20 some type of play-in round
Day 21 2 R16 games
Day 22 2 R16 games
Day 23 2 R16 games
Day 24 2 R16 games
Day 25 off
Day 26 Quarterfinal
Day 27 Quarterfinal
Day 28 Quarterfinal
Day 29 Quarterfinal
Day 30 off
Day 31 off
Day 32 Semifinal
Day 33 Semifinal
Day 37 Championship

5 extra days compared to 2014 and 2018
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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They could easily play 4 games a day.


Or six. Or eight. Or heck, they could have all the teams play every day for three straight days and finish the group stage in three days.

OK, now let's get back to reality.

FIFA is only going to change this if the hue and cry from the confederations gets too loud. There is no way they aren't going to 48. And there is no way that they are changing it on their own, because they knew the consequences when they made the decision in the first place.
 

Allan McMurray

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I don't think it should even have been expanded. Turning into a participation tournament. I could give 2 shits less that Italy missed out the last 2 and the Dutch missed one.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Or six. Or eight. Or heck, they could have all the teams play every day for three straight days and finish the group stage in three days.

OK, now let's get back to reality.

FIFA is only going to change this if the hue and cry from the confederations gets too loud. There is no way they aren't going to 48. And there is no way that they are changing it on their own, because they knew the consequences when they made the decision in the first place.

They are talking about having extra time and PK's in the group stage to avoid collusion. That would be a terrible idea. They need to figure out a way to have an even number of teams in each group.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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How would they even do the games if there are groups of 3?



Monday USA vs Sweden
Friday USA vs Oman
Tuesday Sweden vs Oman
Saturday USA in Round of 32 matchup

Not only could teams manufacture a result in the 3rd game, you'd have teams playing each other on unequal rest.

They need to do 12 groups of 4 and figure out a 24 team or 32 team knockout round
 

JD1976

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How would they even do the games if there are groups of 3?



Monday USA vs Sweden
Friday USA vs Oman
Tuesday Sweden vs Oman
Saturday USA in Round of 32 matchup

Not only could teams manufacture a result in the 3rd game, you'd have teams playing each other on unequal rest.

They need to do 12 groups of 4 and figure out a 24 team or 32 team knockout round
A 32-team knockout would be awesome.
 

Fk_Pitt

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A 32-team knockout would be awesome.
It would not be good for the game for the US to play 2 scrub teams and then play a good team in the knockout and go home. Gotta guarantee 3 matches before a knockout match.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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It would not be good for the game for the US to play 2 scrub teams and then play a good team in the knockout and go home. Gotta guarantee 3 matches before a knockout match.

Or how about a decent squad like Poland or Serbia being knocked out after only 2 games? Dumb.

If they are going to stick with 3 team groups and 32 team knockout, the US would win their group as it would consist of a Pool B team (17-32 like Wales) and Pool C team (33-48 like Oman). Then they'd get the runner-up from a Group in the Round of 32.....like Poland or Serbia.....yea a game they can lose but they shouldn't.
 

JD1976

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It would not be good for the game for the US to play 2 scrub teams and then play a good team in the knockout and go home. Gotta guarantee 3 matches before a knockout match.
I agree. 3 group stage matches is a must.

That’s why I hope they go 12 groups of 4. 3 group stage matches, top 2 in each group and the 8 best 3rd place teams… or something along those lines.

FIFA used to advance 3rd place teams under the 24-team format so it’s not a foreign concept.
 

Fk_Pitt

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I agree. 3 group stage matches is a must.

That’s why I hope they go 12 groups of 4. 3 group stage matches, top 2 in each group and the 8 best 3rd place teams… or something along those lines.

FIFA used to advance 3rd place teams under the 24-team format so it’s not a foreign concept.
I’m not happy with 48 teams to be honest. It’s really going to be watered down.
 

Fk_Pitt

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I agree with that also, although it is crazy how often really good top European teams are left out.
We are seeing how difficult it is to win in the World Cup. African teams are really good and Asian teams are winning their share of games. We even see how difficult it is to beat Costa Rica. So going to 48 teams stinks too because it takes all the intrigue out of qualifying.
 

Fk_Pitt

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Hearing alot of pundits expressing how bad of an idea 3 team groups would be. And now this…

 

JD1976

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The minute-by-minute intrigue of the 3rd day of group play is unlike anything else in sports. Look at yesterday. For 90 seconds of game action when Costa Rica was ahead of Germany the live standings had both Germany and Spain knocked out. Then, things shifted when Germany scored. Same thing happened 2 days ago with the Poland/Mexico dynamic. Groups of 4 are essential to remain.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Hearing alot of pundits expressing how bad of an idea 3 team groups would be. And now this…


3 team groups would be such a disaster. I hope they listen to me. Need to have groups of 12 groups of 4 with a 24 or 32 team knockout round. As others have mentioned, in many other tournaments, the top 3rd place teams advance including the 24 team 1994 World Cup when the US finished 3rd.
 

Fk_Pitt

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3 team groups would be such a disaster. I hope they listen to me. Need to have groups of 12 groups of 4 with a 24 or 32 team knockout round. As others have mentioned, in many other tournaments, the top 3rd place teams advance including the 24 team 1994 World Cup when the US finished 3rd.
Exactly. 8 wild cards are fine.
 

Fk_Pitt

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3 team groups would be such a disaster. I hope they listen to me. Need to have groups of 12 groups of 4 with a 24 or 32 team knockout round. As others have mentioned, in many other tournaments, the top 3rd place teams advance including the 24 team 1994 World Cup when the US finished 3rd.
I don’t think they’ll be listening to you. I think they’ll listen to important people in the football world who see it for what it is…an obvious error that even morons everywhere can see the problem.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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I don’t think they’ll be listening to you. I think they’ll listen to important people in the football world who see it for what it is…an obvious error that even morons everywhere can see the problem.

No, they do read this board often. I hope they just advance 24 from the 12 groups of 4 though. Having potentially 3 advance from a group in which your Pot 4 team is Bahrain or New Zealand or Congo or El Salvador renders the group stage pretty meaningless
 

Fk_Pitt

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No, they do read this board often. I hope they just advance 24 from the 12 groups of 4 though. Having potentially 3 advance from a group in which your Pot 4 team is Bahrain or New Zealand or Congo or El Salvador renders the group stage pretty meaningless
Exactly. Although isn’t New Zealand traditionally a better soccer (or is it football there) nation than Australia? Your point is valid though.

Btw there are two soccer nations in the round of 16. Not too shabby. Lol.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Exactly. Although isn’t New Zealand traditionally a better soccer (or is it football there) nation than Australia? Your point is valid though.

Btw there are two soccer nations in the round of 16. Not too shabby. Lol.

No, Australia is a legit program. Top-level Asian team. New Zealand isnt anywhere close to that. They are about the level of CONCACAF teams who dont make the last round. Like say Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala, TT, etc.
 

Fk_Pitt

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No, Australia is a legit program. Top-level Asian team. New Zealand isnt anywhere close to that. They are about the level of CONCACAF teams who dont make the last round. Like say Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala, TT, etc.
👍
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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I don’t think they’ll be listening to you. I think they’ll listen to important people in the football world who see it for what it is…an obvious error that even morons everywhere can see the problem.


Like I said, the only way they are changing it is if enough people at enough federations point out to them how dumb it is to do it that way.

The notion that they give a rat's arse about what the fans think about any of this is hilarious.