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Group stage penalties? The latest FIFA changes that transform the Soccer World Cup

FIFA wants a different show, the world just wants football. Qatar 2022 It is the last World Cup to be played with 32 teams. As is known, 48 teams will qualify for the 2026 World Cup -it is not known what may happen next-, and this Wednesday it drew attention that they are thinking of including a definition by penalties in the group stage.

According to The Athletic, FIFA would be analyzing a definition by penalties in the matches that end up tied in the group stage, this so that there is a winner. However, this system would not give 3 points to the winner, but only one additional point.

“FIFA is considering introducing a penalty shootout to decide whether teams should get a bonus point if the group stage games are tied in the extended World Cup in 2026,” the English media publishes.

In other words, if a match in the group stage ends tied, each country will add one point. Whoever wins the definition by penalties will add an additional point for taking the victory under that modality.

48 classified

FIFA has already intervened a lot in the game and the formats. One of those changes is that in the Canada/United States/Mexico 2026 World Cup there are 48 participating teams, with a different scheme.

Since 1998, the World Cup has been played with eight groups of eight teams, where the best two advance to the round of 16. For the 2026 World Cup, there will be three groups of 16 teams where the best two of each bracket will go on to what would become the sixteenth.

With this scheme, they will go from 64 to 80 matches during the World Cup, which generates more income from the televising of each match around the world and the advertising in each of them.

Technology and VAR

Undoubtedly, the VAR still continues to divide opinions. Justice for some, many wrongs for others. The concrete thing is that the Video Arbitration system has already been fully installed in world football.

In Brazil 2014 the novelty was the chip on the ball. The ‘technological goal’ was called and became known in a play by Karim Benzema in France vs. Honduras.

His shot went over the goal line without the goalkeeper Valladares being able to take it out. In his attempt he seemed to introduce the ball, but it was not clear to the human eye. The chip technology made referee Sandro Ricci take the goal.

In Russia 2018, VAR was used 20 times, 19 of them in the group stage and the other in the final between France and Croatia. It must be remembered that Peru was benefited by this system, since referee Bakary Gassama (Gambia) awarded the penalty in favor of the Bicolor against Denmark supported by technology.

In Qatar, VAR has been the protagonist in several games, such as Argentina’s offside against Saudi Arabia and several disallowed goals, but also for omitting other scenes, such as the penalty that was awarded in favor of Portugal for a foul that did not exist against Cristiano Ronaldo. Thus, the Portuguese became the only footballer to score in five different World Cups.

Squad of 26 players and 5 changes

The pandemic forced up to 5 changes to be allowed in each game, this due to the physical wear and tear of the consecutive games that were scheduled to complete the seasons that COVID stopped.

This rule remained for the Qatar 2022 World Cup and today the teams can make five variants in each match, which allows them to oxygenate their squad or make tactical changes in search of coming back or maintaining a result.

Iran's goalkeeper #01 Alireza Beiranvand crashes with Iran's defender #19 Majid Hosseini (bottom) during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

It is worth saying that the teams can make a sixth change if one of the variants is due to a head clash that causes shock in the players. This was seen in the England-Iran game, when the Iranian goalkeeper had to be changed after colliding strongly with one of his teammates.

The sixth variant is also maintained in the extension time, in the phases that are played with half an hour more to define the winner. This caused the list of summoned to be changed, which went from 23 to 26 summoned for Qatar 2022 since, since there is the possibility of greater variations, a greater number of cards must be available for them.

Source: Elcomercio

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