[00:00.00]This is What’s Trending Today...
[00:03.88]Sports lovers around the world are reacting to the latest news about football -- a game called soccer in the United States.
[00:17.98]FIFA, the international governing body of football, unanimously voted to expand the World Cup tournament in 2026.
[00:32.80]FIFA’s voting members agreed to add 16 more teams to the men’s competition.
[00:42.00]All voting members supported the plan as a way to raise more money for the organization and add excitement to the event.
[00:55.63]The 2026 World Cup tournament will involve 48 nations.
[01:03.66]It will also have 80 games, 16 more than in the past.
[01:10.74]But the eventual winner will still only play seven games.
[01:18.06]The extra games should result in about $1 billion in additional money for FIFA.
[01:28.01]That money will come from sponsorships, advertising and deals with broadcasters.
[01:38.56]Countries in Africa and Asia should receive the majority of the new tournament berths.
[01:48.26]By May, regional governing organizations will know how many new positions they have been awarded.
[01:58.54]The newly approved plan will include other changes, too.
[02:05.15]For example, there will be 16 groups of three teams.
[02:11.34]The top two teams in each group will earn rights to compete in a 32-team elimination round.
[02:23.05]Penalty shootouts may be used as tie-breakers in the group games.
[02:30.35]Some countries think the World Cup will not be as good as in past years because of the increased number of teams.
[02:42.22]But FIFA officials said they used a computer program to predict the results of 10,000 tournaments.
[02:52.63]It found that the quality of the event was always decided by the best 32 teams.
[03:02.49]The announcement is getting mixed reaction.
[03:07.23]Some football fans and sports lovers say the World Cup was fine the way it was.
[03:14.82]One writer already predicted the 16 groups based on the current FIFA ratings.
[03:23.69]The list includes countries like Curacao, Burkina Faso and Uzbekistan.
[03:31.69]These countries have never qualified.
[03:47.25]In other news, FIFA announced the 2016 winners of its 2016 Best Player of the Year award.
[03:55.72]Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo won the men’s award.
[04:03.17]The women’s prize went to Carli Lloyd of the United States.
[04:09.16]And that’s What’s Trending Today.