Quality of football will drop with new FIFA format, say ex-England player

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Danny Murphy has criticised the plans for a new, FIFA World Cup format, saying ‘the quality of football is going to be reduced’.


Ex-England player Danny Murphy believes that the quality of football will drop with the new FIFA format for the 2026 World Cup.

It was confirmed yesterday that the new plans had been greenlit by the FIFA Council, and they will see the next World Cup in 2026 grow to feature 48 teams.

It will see 12 four-team groups and a last-32 knockout round for the first time, and also means an extra week of football to accommodate 104 matches in total.

Ex-England midfielder Murphy told the media that: “There are pros and cons, some of the pros are the finances and developing football.

“But the negatives are they’ll be far more games of less quality and games you don’t want to watch.

“I’d still enjoy going to cover it and be part of it, but I think the reasons behind it are wrong.

“They’re hiding behind this ‘bringing football forward’ and appealing to more, but the World Cup is already a phenomenon!

“You have to evolve, but unfortunately they employ yesterday’s football men and gives them huge salaries to come up with these ideas.

“But really it’s only about one thing – money.

“UEFA did it with the Europa Conference League – I’ve never watched it. It comes to a point where everyone’s got a limit.”


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