Infantino says 32, 40 and 48-team World Cups on the table


"The level of quality of football is increasing all over the world", he said.

In effect it is too late to drive through much of a change before the 2026 World Cup but it is likely that the expansion finals would have to be cohosted through sheer practical necessity.

Football's world governing body FIFA is meeting to discuss whether to ban Israeli clubs playing games on illegal settlements in the occupied West bank.

From the playoff, 16 nations would then move on to the World Cup itself.

Discussions on whether to increase the number of teams from 32 to 40 or even 48 teams, plus the tournament format, will continue with a final decision on January 9 or 10. The United States are in great position to host a World Cup in the next decade.

As Russia and Qatar will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively, the decision means that neither European nor Asian countries will be eligible to stage the tournament in 2026. Such warnings will no longer be overlooked, according to the new plans.

That he must be open to renewal, for football, for football development.

Additionally, he has set the goal of doubling the number of female football players worldwide by 2026 to 60 million.

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Signals of what critics will consider a victory for quantity over quality came from president Gianni Infantino in Zurich after the first half of a two-day meeting of the newly-expanded FIFA Council.

"But we will play a good season although there will be setbacks, no doubt, given the age of the team and the three competitions we are playing in".

"This will enable us to deliver on our commitment to the game and its billions of fans". "More youngsters want to play the game, companies want to get involved in sponsorship and the benefits to football as a whole are huge".

"Fifa is a stronger institution today than it was a year ago - and it will be even stronger a year from now", said secretary-general Fatma Samoura.

"We are sending a message to the worldwide community and the executive committee of Federation Internationale de Football Association that the time has come to solve this matter", he said.

The 2026 World Cup host is due to be announced in May 2020.

The idea was detailed in "FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future" - a 70-page document relaunching Infantino's sometimes troubled eight-month presidency. Infantino is thought to favor spreading the added spaces around FIFA's confederations, rather than simply adding more places for established soccer centers like Europe.