FIFA to decide on expanded World Cup in Jan: Infantino

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 14 Oct 2016, 21:23:26

FIFA to decide on expanded World Cup in Jan: Infantino

ZURICH, Oct 14 (AP): FIFA wants to decide in January if the 2026 World Cup will expand from its 32-team format, with 40 or 48 the favored options.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino expects a decision when the ruling council meets in January, likely in Zurich, he said on Thursday.

"The general feeling is rather positive" toward expansion, Infantino said at a briefing after FIFA's ruling council met. "The level of quality of football is increasing all over the world."

Infantino justified the plan as a way to create more "football euphoria" for months in countries which qualify, and guard against "disaster" being declared where national teams fall short of world sport's most-watched event.

The 2026 World Cup - which many expect to be hosted across North America - could also be run centrally by FIFA from Zurich instead of by the hosts' own local organizing committee.

Infantino outlined plans for FIFA to take "full control of all money flows," and how it spends hundreds of millions of dollars on each tournament, before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The idea was detailed in "FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future" - a 70-page document relaunching Infantino's sometimes troubled eight-month presidency.
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