- Estiqlal Highway to be partly closed for maintenance
- Murakami fans to pack stores at midnight for new novel
- Ariya grabs lead on home turf at LPGA Thailand
- Arrest warrant for top Philippine drug war critic
- SpaceX cargo ship arrives at space station
- GCC Tennis Tournament
- Celebrities join Brave Fever
- Golf Club names new retail manager
- Panels ready for Indian Club Bahrain's election
- ‘Zero is Hero’ at Lulu - Credimax promotion
48 team 80 matches 32 days
By: dt news , Posted on 11-Jan-2017
Zurich : FIFA’s ruling council yesterday unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, in a major coup for the body’s president Gianni Infantino.
In a bid to widen the game’s global appeal and enrich its coffers, the FIFA panel endorsed a format with 16 groups of three nations, a tweet from FIFA’s account said.
The move represents the first major change to the World Cup format since the tournament was boosted from 24 to 32 teams for the 1998 tournament in France. The proposal faced tough criticism in some of football’s key camps.
But Infantino, who took charge of scandal-tainted FIFA 11 months ago had in recent weeks voiced confidence that his flagship project would be approved.
Among those who seemed convinced by that argument was Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who said a 48-team format “will give more possibilities to countries that have never reached that level of competition”.
And a confidential FIFA report seen by AFP projects a 48-team tournament would bring a cash boost of $640 million (605m euros) above projected revenues for next year’s finals in Russia. The format approved envisages 80 matches -- 16 more than the current set up -- but crucially will still be played over the same 32 days. Two teams from each group will advance to a 32-nation knock-out round. The World Cup expanded to 24 teams in 1982 in Spain before moving to its current 32-team version at France 1998. (AFP)
Former Argentine football player Diego Maradona plays the ball as he arrives for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2016 ceremony in Zurich.
Bangkok : World number two Ariya Jutanugarn cruised to a shared lead in the first round of the Honda LPGA on Thursday, eying a redemptive victory on her home turf. The smooth bogey-free 66 came fresh off the 21-year-old's spectacular 2016 season, which saw her win five LPGA tournaments and a Player of...Read More
Pune : Mitchell Starc smashed an unbeaten 57 to lift Australia to 256 for nine at stumps on the opening day of the first Test against India in Pune on Thursday. Starc put on 51 runs in a 10th wicket partnership with Josh Hazlewood, who made just one, to thwart the Indian bowling attack, which had reduced the...Read More
Dhaka : Bangladesh on Tuesday recalled their left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman in a 16-man squad for the upcoming two-Test series in Sri Lanka after his prolonged injury lay-off. The 21-year-old has not played a Test since his debut series against South Africa in 2015 after suffering a series of injuries. He...Read More
Bangalore : England all-rounder Ben Stokes became the most expensive foreign player in Indian Premier League history when he was bought by the Rising Pune Giants for more than $2 million at auction Monday. The 25-year-old fetched seven times the amount of England's limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, who was sold to...Read More
Hamilton : South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl in the rain-shortened opening one day international against New Zealand in Hamilton on Sunday. The match has been reduced to 34 overs a side after three hours were lost because of the weather. "It looks a little tacky," South Africa captain AB de...Read More
Auckland : New Zealand won the toss and sent South Africa in to bat in the one-off Twenty20 at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday. Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said he hoped the ball would move around in humid conditions on a slow wicket that was under covers for much of the day due to rain. "It's been under...Read More
New Delhi : Former skipper Steve Waugh has warned that Australia's only hope of beating India in their upcoming series is by taming Ravichandran Ashwin, branding the record-breaking spinner "the Bradman of bowling". After the off spinner became the fastest bowler to claim 250 Test wickets last weekend,...Read More
Hyderabad : India wrapped up a comprehensive 208-run victory over Bangladesh in the one-off Test in Hyderabad Monday, with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ending the visitors' plucky resistance on the final day. Chasing 459 for victory, the tourists were bowled out for 250 in an extended afternoon...Read More
Hyderabad : India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday became the fastest bowler to claim 250 Test wickets as Bangladesh were bowled out for 388 on day four of the one-off Test in Hyderabad. Ashwin achieved the milestone in his 45th match by taking the final wicket of the innings -- Bangladesh skipper...Read More
Hyderabad : Bangladesh were bowled out for 388 in their first innings on the fourth day of the one-off Test against India in Hyderabad on Sunday. India, who made 687-6 declared in their first innings, did not enforce the follow-on despite being 299 runs ahead. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with 127 while Shakib...Read More