Thursday, January 12, 2017

The FIFA World Cup to Become More Massive

The FIFA World Cup is set to become more massive.
 
A footballing extravaganza.

This quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA will see the participation of 48 teams at the 2026 World Cup.
 
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino's proposal to expand it from the current 32 teams was unsurprisingly, unanimously approved by the sport's world governing body.
 
There is this feeling that having more teams means there will be a dilution in the quality of the prestigious tournament. Of course, this is only an assumption.
 
Lest we forget the achievements of the smaller countries at Euro 2016 where Iceland eliminated England and Wales got into the semi-finals – this illustrates that even minnows could enhance a major finals.
 
So the decision Tuesday is not necessarily detrimental to football's showpiece tournament.
 
I like to think that an enlarged World Cup allows more countries to "dream" of qualifying for the World Cup.
 
I know Asia and Africa will rejoice because they can expect an increase in the number of places. More fans from there can revel in their country’s participation in the said tourney. 
 
The FIFA World Cup will become more inclusive.
 
Hopefully, the dominance of the European and Latin American countries can be moderated – even though I recognize that footballing talent is bountiful there. Hopefully too, the domestic game in Asia and Africa can develop velociously. And flourish as a result.
 
For sure, the increased participation from an additional sixteen teams will contribute to a greater eclectic mix of footballing cultures. This in turn, creates a bigger and better atmosphere than ever before.

I know critics are saying this is all about making more money. It may be true but I want to put a positive spin to it.
 
After all, whether we agree or disagree, the decision has been made – so let’s look forward to it.
 
And in case, Malaysia is hoping and wishing to have a shot at the World Cup – kindly do a reality check
 
No way will we qualify any time soon. Who doesn't know that Malaysian football is an epic flop?
 
In fact, there is no need to hope and wish because if we peruse the FIFA world rankings as I have done today – from a total of 211 member associations Malaysia is buried deep in position #161. 
 
We can dream though. I guess that is all we can do!
 
On Wednesday, I was in Bangsar South in KL to attend the MIA Toastmasters meeting. I was both the General Evaluator and an assignment speaker.
 
I did a CC #9 titled “Carry on Speaking”. My speech #515. Not only that but I was voted Best Speaker from among four speakers.
 
 

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