FIFA boss Infantino proposes 48-team World Cup

FIFA boss Infantino proposes 48-team World Cup
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Published October 4th, 2016 - 15:10 GMT via

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Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has put forward a new 48-team format for the 2026 World Cup in a speech in Colombia on Monday.

The new format he suggests would see 32 teams play a round of playoffs before the main tournament begins. The 16 winners would then progress to the group stage, together with 16 teams that had already qualified. The rest of the tournament would then run as normal, Infantino explained.

At present the tournament sees 32 teams competing in 8 groups, before knockout games begin.

The head of football's world governing body, who came out in favour of more World Cup competing nations as he campaigned to replace Sepp Blatter earlier this year, had previously proposed a 40-team tournament, but now says that wouldn't work.

Germany coach Joachim Loew said Sunday that an increase in teams at the World Cup could lead to a decrease in the quality of competition.

On 13 and 14 October the FIFA Council meets in Zurich to discuss the bidding process for the 2026 tournament as well as new World Cup formats.

© 2016 dpa GmbH

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