I’d encourage everyone to watch that recent Netflix documentary about FIFA corruption. There was nothing there about the scandals per se that was new to anyone who has paid attention over the years (and in fact they seemed to miss out a fair bit through the 90s to early 00s), but it provided a great insight into the people who have been responsible. What was apparent, and I think goes to your question @Redbj , is how ruthless the leaders have been in terms of their own self-interest and how much backstabbing has gone on. It’s a game that given the way it is played doesnt allow for decent people to succeed.
With a 3-team group, there was almost always going to be one team that wasn’t even going to win a game. For the middling countries that have no real knock-out round aspirations, that one match they have a chance at is the real highlight.
I do think it is a poor idea. Tournament will be even more of a disruption, and it is only a matter of time before they decide the money is too good not to have another one during the Northern hemisphere winter, thus making a mess of a season.
Which gets us back to that lovely discussion around how players are not actually allowed to retire from international football according to FIFA. All they can do is request that they are not selected, but their national association reserves that right.