Baku, February 23, AZERTAC
Should he be elected as FIFA president, candidate Gianni Infantino wants to expand the World Cup from its current 32 team format to have 40 nations represented by 2026, according to gazzettaworld.
Currently the UEFA general secretary, Infantino has previously played a role in increasing the European Championship from being a 16-team tournament to its current 24-nation layout.
As well as the above, Infantino has worked on initiatives such as Financial Fair Play and the Hat-trick project, which is intended to provide member associations with more funds to promote and develop football.
“I believe the World Cup should have 40 teams from 2026,” the Swiss-Italian said to AS. “It is a unique event, which captivates the entire world for a month every four years and it’s also the single most powerful tool for promoting football all over the world.
“By giving eight additional countries the opportunity to participate, we would be giving eight more countries the possibility to enjoy the World Cup fever in a more passionate way, also achieving greater worldwide representation in the process.
“Naturally, this must be properly debated with all the stakeholders involved. But I am more than ready to have this discussion in a constructive way with everyone who cares about football.”
Infantino was keen to point to his previous work at UEFA to use the expansion of the European Championship as a guideline for the World Cup to follow.
“At UEFA, I have been intimately involved in the expansion of the Euros from 16 to 24 teams,” he added. “This has already been a huge success.
“From a sporting, promotional and commercial point of view it has worked and I know we can do something similar for the World Cup.”