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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

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Alan Shearer on the changes ahead of World Cup 2026

Alan Shearer’s 2026 World Cup changes thoughts

Coral ambassador Alan Shearer sat down with us to exclusively share his thoughts on FIFA restructuring the World Cup.

The announcement caused controversy across the footballing world, highlighting new plans to have 16 groups with three teams from 2026.

You can listen to Shearer’s 2026 World Cup changes thoughts in the video below, but we’ve also picked out the best quotes from his latest interview…

“It’s for financial reasons”

Shearer, the Premier League all-time leading goalscorer and 1998 World Cup player, bemoans the changes: “I don’t agree with it, it’s for financial reasons, greed I think. The World Cup finals should be exactly that. That’s what qualifiers are for, that’s what play-offs are for, to get the best teams to the World Cup and put on a fantastic spectacle.”

Shearer worries about the diluted quality of the World Cup after the new plans.

Shearer worries about the diluted quality of the World Cup after the new plans.

Despite nations that rarely get a chance at tournaments writing some of the best headlines at Euro 2016, Shearer sees the impact on quality as a worry: “I was at the Euros last year in France and I know Wales and Iceland were very good at times and they were… the big stories.”

“But, overall the standards of the European Championship was poor because there [were] extra teams in that. I don’t want that to happen to the World Cup and, as I said, the World Cup finals should be the finals.”

“You can understand [Scotland] voting for it”

Scotland have backed changes to the World Cup.

Scotland have backed changes to the World Cup.

However, after Scotland failing to qualify for a major tournament since 1998, surely this is good news for the nation and will see them reach a summer tournament. Shearer: “It’s no surprise that Scotland were one of the teams that voted for it because they haven’t been to a World Cup in such a long time.”

“You can understand them voting for it. But I go back to my point. It will without doubt affect the standard of football.”

Related

Head on over to the Shearer says archive for a whole host of exclusive interviews with Alan.