World Cup qualifying becomes a joke. Let’s say eight CONCACAF teams end up qualifying for World Cup 2026, with the U.S., the current favorite, as the host. The top eight CONCACAF teams in the current FIFA rankings are Costa Rica, Mexico, the U.S., Panama, Haiti, Honduras, Curaçao and Jamaica. With CONCACAF promising more qualifying games to tiny island nations, look for World Cup qualifying to become a watered-down mess of easy games with next to nothing at stake for a team like the U.S. or Mexico.

One of the U.S.’s biggest current problems is it doesn’t play enough games that matter against tough opponents. This system makes that problem even worse. The club game is already being played at a much higher level than the international game. An expanded World Cup makes that worse, both during the long time period between World Cups and at the 48-team World Cup itself.

If you’re FIFA, which has money concerns in the wake of the U.S.-investigated FIFA scandal, you’ll make more money off TV rights (more games!) and sponsorships. And if you’re Gianni Infantino, the recently elected FIFA president, you’ll increase your chances of being reelected, since so many more countries will have an opportunity to reach the World Cup.

Each of those countries has a vote in the FIFA election. This is patronage politics straight out of the Sepp Blatter handbook, and it goes along with the massive increase in annual money grants that Infantino promised and got passed for each FIFA nation.