President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Gianni Infantino says the governing body is looking into the possibility of increasing the number of teams even as at the 2022 World Cup.
It’s no news that FIFA has decided to expand the Mundial so as to feature 48 teams as against the custom 32-team competition in 2026. Infantino has now revealed that the world body is working towards having the proposed system get working from the 2022 edition billed for Qatar.
While speaking on Wednesday at the FIFA Council meeting in Kigali, Infantino admitted that expanding the Mundial requires the cooperation of other countries in the host’s region.
“We have decided to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments from 32 to 48 and this will happen in 2026,” he said.
“Will it happen in 2022? We are looking at it. If it is possible, why not?”
“We have to see if it is possible, if it is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends, we are discussing with our many other friends in the region and we hope that this can happen,” he added. And, if not, we will have tried. We will have tried because we always have to try to do things in a better way.”
FIFA decided earlier this year to expand the 2026 World Cup, to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, to 48 teams from 32 while leaving the door open to raising the number playing in Qatar in four years’ time.
Infantino also reiterated his desire to increase the number of participants at the Club World Cup saying FIFA wanted to make it “a real competition.”
“One that every club in the world can target because we have global interest and everyone will benefit, not only from a financial point of view,” he added.