FIFA have announced that every nation on earth will be invited to take part in the World Cup from 2026, whilst also introducing a new slogan, ‘You’re All Winners!’, as the organisation looks to move on from its most traumatic year.
By eschewing the traditional form of qualification, not only do nations such as Micronesia and Vanuatu get to rub shoulders with the likes of Germany and Brazil, but it I s also hoped that it convinces members that UEFA – the European body that features all of the planet’s strongest sides – will no longer be over-represented in the flagship tournament.
A source within FIFA’s ExCo said: ‘What we need to do at this point is ask ourselves if we want the tournament to have only the very best countries on earth, or if we need to protect the interests of our smaller nations by watering down the overall quality of the competition so that it becomes a shadow of the contest it was twenty five years ago. I think, with all the anti-UEFA stuff we’ve been seeing, the answer is very clearly the latter’.
The source added: ‘We’re also very positive about this ‘everyone wins’ plan, where all 209 entered countries wins the tournament. We’re looking at smashing the World Cup into 209 pieces and sharing them out equally. After all, Guam has just as strong a claim to be a winner as Argentina’.
This means that a decade from now fans will be able to look forward to a four-week long qualifying round featuring countries everyone presumed were dissolved after World War II, with the competition only taking on any semblance of importance at the quarter-final stage, which will now take place eight weeks after the opening ceremony. In addition, the closing ceremony will now take place over four days, as it is estimated that it will take that long to present the pieces of the trophy to each of the winning squads.