Jose Mourinho calls for expanded World Cup and video referral system in football

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Jose Mourinho calls for expanded World Cup and video referral system in football

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SportsCafe Desk


Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has voiced his support for an expanded World Cup tournament as it would help develop the sport across the world given the clubs and players are not burdened. Mourinho also felt that the video referral system is required to protect the referees from criticism.

Recently, FIFA President Gianni Infantino came up with a proposal for expanding the World Cup from the current format of playing 32 teams to 48 teams from 2026. The idea received serious opposition from Europe's leading clubs as it would increase the number of matches to be played and hence an increased strain on the players.

But Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho thinks that the expansion would only prove beneficial in improving the infrastructure in countries that are on a lesser level.

"I'm totally in favour. As a club manager, if the expansion meant more games, less holidays and less pre-season for players, I would say no," the Portuguese told on Friday.

"It's important for critics to analyse and understand that expansion doesn't mean more matches. Players are protected and clubs are protected in this way. Teams with less potential and experience will probably play two matches and go home.

"But they would do so having improved and gained experience on the pitch, which would be added to the economic rewards of appearing at the finals -- including further investment in their footballing infrastructure," he added.

The FIFA Council is expected to reach a decision this month on whether to add more teams to the tournament format.

Mourinho also felt that one should not expect the expanded tournament to be of the highest quality owing to the calibre of club football around the world. 

"The expansion means that the World Cup will be even more of an incredible social event. More countries, more investment in different countries in infrastructure, in youth football. Football is developed in the clubs, so we can't expect football to explode in terms of quality at a World Cup," he said.

Despite being critical of the referees himself on multiple ocassions, the former Chelsea boss felt that the proposed video referral system is a must for football in order to protect the officials.

"We all need it (video technology). Professionals can't lose or win matches and titles because of a refusal of this evolution," the 53-year-old opined.

"Also, referees especially need and deserve protection. They need the technology to help them, protect them and to support them."

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