The European Club Association (ECA), which represents the interests of 220 clubs from 53 football associations across the continent, including the top clubs from La Liga and the Premier League, has issued a statement rejecting Fifa’s decision to expand the World Cup from 32 teams to 48 from 2026.
ECA statement in full
“The European Club Association reiterates that it is in principle not in favour of an expanded World Cup.”
“We fail to see the merits to changing the current format of 32 that has proven to be the perfect formula from all perspectives. Questionable is also the urgency in reaching such an important decision, with 9 years to go until it becomes applicable, without the proper involvement of stakeholders who will be impacted by this change.”
“We understand that this decision has been taken based on political reasons rather than sporting ones and under considerable political pressure, something ECA believes is regrettable.”
“ECA will analyse in detail the impact and the consequences of the new format and will address the matter at the next meeting of its Executive Board scheduled for the end of January.”