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FIFA, the international soccer football association, announced that the next world cup in Qatar 2022 will continue to be played with 32-teams. FIFA planned to expand the tournament to 48-teams but Qatar had only eight stadiums and regional internecine conflict prevented neighboring Mid East nations from hosting the added 16-matches.

The 48-team event will occur in 2026 when the USA and Mexico host the Cup. This will be a financial boom for all parties involved. More interest in Cup qualifying games. A predicted larger global viewership of the event and subsequent greater broadcast revenue. Larger sponsor fees. More revenue from in-game attendance, and added merchandise income. 

The plan might offer 12-pools of four teams each instead of the existing eight pools. The quarterfinal rounds would narrow the field to 24-squads until a four-team semi-final.

In essence, a FIFA 48-team tournament would have approximately a 22-percent representation rate of all of the organization's members, a list that includes 195-countries, and about 30 other non-nation members like Bermuda, Hong Kong, and Northern Ireland.

(The reconfigured event could also offer eight pools of six teams each, with the top three elevens moving into the 24-squad quarters.) 

The FIFA expansion is being closely viewed by World Rugby, which also wants to increase the Rugby World Cup from 20 to 24-fifteens.  It is doubtful that this expanded configuration will take place in France RWC by 2023, but certainly, for the following RWC in 2027. 

A glance at the current rugby teams ranked 18 to 24 indicates teams that have played in past World Cups, and others that have never qualified.

18-Romania

19-Spain

20-Russia

21-Canada

22-Portugal

23-Nambia

24-Brazil

The above lower teams border Tier 3 level, and would not challenge the higher nations, falling, judgmentally, by large scores. Remember than in all past eight RWC events, Tier 2 sides have managed only three upsets in pool play (i.e.; Western Samoa, Tonga, and Japan) against top ten ranked, Tier 1 sides. 

Still, more qualifying fifteens would offer the same beneficial financial model as in the enlarged FIFA event.