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Newly elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino has admitted that the World Cup could be increased from 32 teams to 40 teams.
Gianni Infantino is the new FIFA president

Gianni Infantino is the new FIFA president

The World Cup has been a 32 team group and knock-out stages format competition in 1998 ahead of the World Cup in France in that year.

Infantino revealed to fifa.com that he is a big advocate for the expansion of the team.

“It’s no secret that I believe in increasing the World Cup to 40 teams,” he said.

“Forty teams is only 19 per cent of the FIFA membership, so it’s not that many compared to the continental final tournaments, which gather between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of affiliated teams.

“We give eight more countries the opportunity to participate, but many more countries the possibility to dream of participating; to play the qualifiers in a very solid way.”

The former lawyer however revealed the process to expand the competition held every four months would be long and would need the approval of FIFA.

He said: “Of course there are issues that we need to analyse and discuss, like: what impact does this have on the calendar? I think it’ll have no impact.

“But we need to look into these matters very carefully and seriously and then we have to move forward.”

Infantino follows in the ideologies of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini who have previously indicated a need to move to 40 teams in the World Cup.

If the plan to increase the number of participating teams is successful, an additional berth will be allocated to UEFA, two to Asia Football Confederation and Confederation of African Football, two shared between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, and a guaranteed place for the Oceania Football Confederation.
12:52 PM

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