FIFA President Gianni Infantino Suggests a 48-team World Cup
FIFA president Gianni Infantino who had previously supported the idea of a 40-team World Cup has proposed an even larger tournament involving 48 teams.
Infantino who had supported the changes from the current 32 teams to 40 in his campaigning manifesto revealed his new 48-team proposal speaking at Bogota’s Sergio Arboleda University today.
The 46-year-old Swiss said,
“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.
“It means we continue with a normal World Cup for 32 teams, but 48 teams go to the party.
The newly suggested format would see a preliminary round with 32 teams and 16 winners reaching the group stages.
The tricky part is the other seeded 16 teams would get out of the tournament after only one match.
Infantino told reporters that the decision will be confirmed in January by the FIFA council.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”These are ideas to find the best solution, we will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017,”[/perfectpullquote]
“They are ideas which we put forward to see which one is the best.”
FIFA confirmed this news to be accurate.
Infantino was elected on Feb 26th after former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was banned from football for six years for ethics violation.
He was elected on a platform of increasing the tournament to 40 teams although critics are saying it will devalue the tournament and make it hard to find a suitable and simple format.
Featured Photo: FIFA President Gianni Infantino. (Photo from Getty Image.)