>> 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.>> Football is more than just Europe and South America. Football is global.>> Reuters European sports editor Mitch Phillips says the move will make the finals more inclusive.
>> The vast majority of FIFA's members have never appeared in a World Cup finals. And I mean, you have 200 votes for this. So it just gives a lot more countries the chance to take part in the showpiece of the event.>> 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, though, which could boost their chances of making the finals. The new format will include a first round of 16 groups of three teams. Qualifying likely to become a mere formality for many of the biggest sides.
>> Well, I think it's inevitably you're gonna weaken it. If you got 48 teams qualifying it's quite hard to get excited about the qualifying competition. Certainly in Europe it's gonna put through you'll imagine almost all the major teams plus some others. So, with friendly to already lacking glamour if the qualifying competition becomes almost pointless and it's gonna certainly weaken the appeal of that.
>> Europe's top club sides argues expansion is politically motivated and will do nothing for the sport. But FIFA's ruling council unanimously backed expansion. The big the world cup looks like a done deal.