FIFA may expand number of World Cup teams
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has suggested opening up the competition to 48 countries from 2026.
The proposal to expand the competition to 40 teams was part of Infantino’s manifesto when he was elected to succeed the disgraced Sepp Blatter this year.
However, the former UEFA general secretary has now gone further still and suggested that the tournament could feature 48 teams.
“The idea is that 16 teams would qualify directly to the group stage and the other 32 would play in a preliminary phase, in the country where the World Cup is being played — they would play for the remaining 16 places,” the Telegraph cited Infantino as saying.
Infantino said a final decision on the plan would be taken by the newly expanded Fifa Council in January, according to local Colombian media. “These are ideas to find the best solution. We will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017,” Infantino said.