Fifa chief Gianni Infantino would have been better with glove puppet Maradona than Kim Kardashian at World Cup reveal

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FIFA drove a coach and horses through climate change anxiety with a three-nation schedule for the 2026 World Cup.

For 39 days, aircraft carrying players and fans will cross and re-cross the USA, Canada and Mexico.

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Gianni Infantino and Fifa are preparing for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the USA

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Gianni Infantino and Fifa are preparing for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the USACredit: PA

They will be blowing out vast amounts of pollution in the name of Gianni Infantino and the global game’s governing body.

Big Chief White Shoes, the president himself, must see himself as some kind of showbiz impresario.

Why otherwise would he invite Kim Kardashian — a 43-year-old influencer queen — to star at the announcement of the onerous schedule for June and July 2026?

All those football kings in the wings and yet the chosen celebrity is a woman of little obvious talent and no connection to football — even if she was dressed in something resembling a tracksuit.

If Big Chief was looking for someone spectacular to tell us that a competition of 104 matches will begin in Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium, a glove puppet Maradona might have been a better choice.

For all she said, about 20 words, it might just as well have been.

But if the announcement itself was forgettable, the expansion to 48 teams in 12 divisions of four played in 16 stadiums was not.

The top two teams in each league go through automatically while the best eight third-placed teams of the first round also go through to the knockout stage.

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You might be asking yourself whether such labours are necessary.

After all, the 2022 finals featured 32 teams which reduced tidily to two in the final.

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The brains trust led by Big Chief wanted more countries involved so that they could have more fun, more posh hotels and days in them, more food and drink, better beds, more sights to see, more chauffeured cars, the best seats and plenty of meetings to feel important at.

That’s the life. Plus, the real biggies . . . more money and more power.

No wonder the 37 Fifa Council members — elected by the 211 members worldwide — wanted a bigger tournament, confusing size with quality.

Fifa operates a China-style voting system. When the bosses want change the hands will go up.

A competition potentially as chaotic as a rodeo on donkeys was sold, maybe without a single vote against.

The 2026 competition tentacles stretched backwards four years.

The Cook Islands, a cluster of sandy islands in the Pacific, have already slipped out of it, while other small fry are plodding on their way, many in tournaments next month.

Infantino also appeared alongside comedian Kevin Hart this week

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Infantino also appeared alongside comedian Kevin Hart this weekCredit: Getty

This sounds all very equal but so does Communism. For the tiddler teams, this is all footer fun. But, for Fifa, it is about constructing an empire, one that subjects Uefa, the Premier League and other European leagues to second or third-class status — and, as a consequence, makes shedloads of dollars.

Big Chief may tell you that taking the World Cup to the US for the second time in 32 years is an ambitious move.

So, he would say, is the confirmation of Saudi Arabia as hosts in 2034, 12 years after nearby Qatar. By coincidence two ultra-rich oil states.

Australia was pushed out while the UK — the game’s founding nation — is a pariah without friends . . . or much oil.

Infantino and his chums are chasing power, using our wonderful game as some sort of sporting United Nations — with Big Chief on nodding terms with Vlad, Xi, Salman and the Kardashians.

He is little different to his predecessor Sepp Blatter — but in trendy boots.





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Fifa chief Gianni Infantino would have been better with glove puppet Maradona than Kim Kardashian at World Cup reveal

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