Wednesday 21 March 2018

Infantino wants 48-team world cup by 2026

FIFA President Gianni Infantino
FIFA President Gianni Infantino newsdesk

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is pushing for an expansion of the World Cup in 2026 to 48 teams, with his preferred format being 16 groups of three teams before a straight knock-out competition.

In a letter to members of the FIFA Council, the executive board, Infantino outlined five options for consideration at next month's key meeting.

Those choices are leaving the tournament at 32 teams, expanding to 40 teams with either 10 groups of four or eight groups of five, or moving to 48 teams with either a 32-team play-off round to decide who joins 16 seeded teams in the current format or 16 three-team groups.

The 16-group format has the benefit of guaranteeing every team at least two games but does raise concerns about some of the final group-stage matches being dead rubbers.

It would, however, see the number of games increase from the current 64 to 80.

Irish Independent

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