FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has revealed that the world football governing body Council, supports the idea of an expanded World Cup with 40 or 48 teams.
He was speaking on Thursday, after the first day of the two-day FIFA Council meeting in Zurich, where the issue of increasing number of countries for the 2026 tournament was a major topic.
Following discussions amongst the 36-member body, Infantino told the media: “The general feeling amongst them is rather positive towards expansion. We had a very good discussion. The feeling of the FIFA Council is that giving more teams a chance to qualify for the World Cup is beneficial for football development.
“When a team qualifies for the tournament the whole country is in football euphoria. More youngsters want to play the game, companies want to get involved in sponsorship and the benefits to football as a whole are immense.”
A final decision of the format of future World Cups, will be taken in January 2017.
“We are focused on 40 or 48 teams,” Infantino said.
“We need to do more analysis on how the tournament will work before we settle on a preferred option.”
Earlier this month, Infantino suggested the idea of a 48-team World Cup, that would see 16 teams eliminated after one knockout match .