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The world governing body of association football has denied claims of corruption after announcing that the 2026 World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams, most of which will come from Marvel films and comics.

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Fifa president Gianni Infantino smells his finger during yesterday’s press conference

Fifa members voted unanimously in favour of the change at a meeting in Zurich yesterday, which will increase the amount of teams from 32 to 48 and will soon include the countries Sokovia, Wakanda and Bloodstone Island.

But the plan is not without its critics.

“Bloodstone Island is a bit of a reach – certainly it sounds cool and the team would probably have an amazing strip,” said one insider.

“But it has only appeared once in the Marvel Universe in an issue of The Incredible Hulk from 1977. Do they really deserve to be invited to the greatest football tournament on Earth?”

Fifa president Gianni Infantino insisted that the move is not about increasing profits, but that ‘it will dilute the competitiveness’.

“Many smaller countries will be represented in 2026,” said Infantino.

“And the fact that most of them are fictional does not matter at this time. This is a tiny detail that will be dealt with closer to the tournament.”

 

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