Saturday 24 March 2018

What's going on at FIFA after another busy day in Zurich?

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter are both suspended
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter are both suspended

Martyn Ziegler

What's the latest news from FIFA?

Another quiet day: two FIFA vice-presidents arrested, a dozen more officials expected to be indicted. Oh, and a plan to expand the World Cup from 32 teams to 40.

That sounds a lot. What would be the implications of such an expansion?

It would be a massive change. The most logical system is to have eight groups of five teams with the top two in each group going through to the last 16. That would mean an EXTRA 32 matches - and 96 matches in all.

Who would it benefit and when could it happen?

Those continents who look with envious eyes to Europe's guaranteed 13 places - Asia and Africa in particular believe they deserve more spots.

How easy would it be for World Cup hosts to have 40 teams?

It would require more stadiums, more training grounds, more match days, more security: and all of this means more money. The infrastructure needed means the already vast cost of hosting the World Cup would increase and make it much more difficult for smaller countries.

How likely is it to happen?

FIFA's executive committee was "extremely receptive" to the idea, according to a FIFA official. Britain's FIFA vice-president David Gill however has warned against the plan being rushed through and that it needs a detailed study about the implications.

What about the latest arrests - does that have implications for the current FIFA leadership or the likes of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini?

If anything, it should hasten the drive to reform. Blatter and Platini are not involved however - they are suspended over a completely separate matter.

Press Association

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