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Atletico Madrid
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 By Tim Vickery

48-team World Cup could negatively affect South American qualifying

Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop join Outside the Lines and have their say at FIFA expanding the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

On the website of CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation, there is an article entitled: "From 13 teams in Uruguay 1930 to 48 in the 2026 World Cup."

It is a neat way of reminding everyone of one of the great trump cards of the South American game: its fabulous tradition. This is the continent where the World Cup began and which has won nine versions of the tournament, divided between Brazil (five wins) and Uruguay and Argentina (two apiece).

The big three has provided Barcelona with the "MSN"...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Bolivia vice president blames officials for clearing LaMia charter

Thousands of supporters paid their final respects to the Chapecoense players, coaches and staff.

Bolivia Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera blamed "second-level government officials" for clearing charter airline LaMia to operate, an authorisation that led to the crash that killed 71 people en route to Medellin, Colombia, last week.

A Bolivian judge on Thursday ordered that the head of the ill-fated chartered airline, Gustavo Vargas Gamboa, whose plane carrying Brazilian football team Chapecoense crashed in the Andes last week, be detained while authorities investigate him for possible charges...

Chapecoense crash airline CEO held as part of Bolivian investigation

Thousands of supporters paid their final respects to the Chapecoense players, coaches and staff.
Chapecoense's Alejandro Martinuccio aims to carry the legacy of his teammates following the club's tragedy.

A Bolivian judge on Thursday ordered that the head of the ill-fated chartered airline whose plane carrying Brazilian football team Chapecoense crashed in the Andes last week be detained while authorities investigate him for possible charges of manslaughter and other crimes.

Gustavo Vargas, a retired air force general who is CEO of the LaMia airline, complained at the court hearing that he is being unfairly blamed for the Nov. 28 crash near Medellin, Colombia.

Authorities have said it was a preventable...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Bolivian who pointed out Chapecoense charter flaws seeks asylum in Brazil

Thousands of supporters paid their final respects to the Chapecoense players, coaches and staff.
Chapecoense's Alejandro Martinuccio aims to carry the legacy of his teammates following the club's tragedy.

A Bolivian aviation agent who pointed out irregularities in the flight plan of a plane that crashed and killed 71 people has traveled to Brazil to seek asylum.

Brazil's federal prosecutors' office said in a statement on Tuesday that the woman presented herself at the border city of Corumba and requested help.

According to the prosecutors' office, the woman worked at the Bolivian aviation agency that approved the ill-fated flight Monday between Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Medellin, Colombia.

The prosecutors'...

FIFA: No U-turn on Bolivia World Cup sanctions before appeal

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains how Bolivia's forfeits for fielding an ineligible player have affected CONMEBOL standings.

ZURICH -- FIFA said sanctions have not been lifted from Bolivia for fielding an ineligible player in two World Cup qualifying matches, but can be challenged at before the appeal committee.

FIFA said reports in South America on Thursday that it reversed an order for Bolivia to forfeit two matches are not correct.

On Tuesday, FIFA's disciplinary panel announced that Bolivia's 0-0 draw with Chile and 2-0 win over Peru in September are now 3-0 losses by default.

The ruling lifted Chile above Argentina...