With the proposal for expanding the World Cup officially on FIFA's agenda, there might be more to the story. FIFA president Gianni Infantino may or may not be pushing CONMEBOL and CONCACAF to merge World Cup qualifying for 2026. What that means in practice will depend on how FIFA decides to expand the World Cup.
That's not exactly clear, with several versions reportedly under consideration. The obvious one would be a setup that gives the teams involved more than one game.
For those with a say, the problem is how that fits into the schedule should the World Cup need more match days to complete. Considering that we're talking about the biggest soccer tournament on the planet, that might seem a little odd. However, that's the major issue for the European leagues and clubs that have come out strongly against any calendar expansion that might go with World Cup expansion.
It's not just the clubs and the leagues in Europe. Not all the major associations are lined up behind FIFA's proposal for more World Cup. Whether or not that matters to FIFA might be the bigger issue.
FIFA's 5 options for WorldCup: from sticking w/32 teams to 48 starting w/16 groups of 3. FIFA explainer for members pic.twitter.com/y7PdQquPyZ— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) January 9, 2017
The LA Times' Kevin Baxter profiles USMNT coach Bruce Arena. American Soccer Now's John Godfrey with one of the issues Arena needs to address. The Washington Post's Steven Goff looks at what's at stake across American soccer in 2017.
The Daily Mail's Charles Sale puts a clock on David Beckham's MLS expansion plans in Miami. The Tampa Bay Times' Charles Frago reports on St Petersburg city council meeting over the proposed MLS expansion effort by the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Michael Lewis writing for Newsday explains the quick revival of the NY Cosmos. WRAL's Neil Morris talks to North Carolina FC owner Steve Malik.
Soccer America's Paul Gardner calls out soccer for not enforcing concussion protocols. The NY Times' Rory Smith on what's happening to Leicester City in the Premier League. World Soccer's Keir Radnegde's opinion on World Cup expansion.
It's final. Haiti into the fifth-place playoff w. 4-3 ET win, Trinidad and Tobago out. Failure for T&T after making Hex, good GCs recently.— Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) January 8, 2017
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