Gianni Infantino and Fifa seem to have a new plan: to kill the World Cup | Marina Hyde

How would the new Fifa president best regain some credibility for football’s ailing governing body? A root and branch reform from top to bottom, or a madcap plan to expand the World Cup to 48 teams …

Some movies are so bad they kill more than themselves. Sometimes, they kill a series. As George Clooney wryly (and rightly) observed after Batman & Robin: “I think we might have killed the franchise.” Occasionally, a movie is such a disaster it kills an entire genre. The monstrous excesses of Cleopatra fatally wounded the swords-and-sandals epic genre, and the flop of The Fall of the Roman Empire a year later finished it off so thoroughly that it didn’t return for decades. Heaven’s Gate is famously the film that didn’t just collapse a studio (United Artists), but made big-budget westerns a no-go. Some have even accused Michael Cimino’s epic of killing the 1970s, an amusingly outlandish charge for which we’ll just have to coin the term epochicide.

Much less amusingly, alas, we must return once more to Fifa, and inquire: franchise killer or genre killer? In which metaphorical category would you place president Gianni Infantino’s plan for a 48-team World Cup?

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