In­fantino: FIFA to de­cide in Jan­uary on ex­panded World Cup

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

FIFA wants to de­cide in Jan­uary if the 2026 World Cup will ex­pand from its 32team for­mat, with 40 or 48 the fa­vored op­tions.

FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino ex­pects a de­ci­sion when the rul­ing coun­cil meets in Jan­uary, likely in Zurich, he said on Thurs­day.

“The gen­eral feel­ing is rather pos­i­tive” to­ward ex­pan­sion, In­fantino said at a brief­ing af­ter FIFA’s rul­ing coun­cil met. “The level of qual­ity of football is in­creas­ing all over the world.”

In­fantino jus­ti­fied the plan as a way to cre­ate more “football eu­pho­ria” for months in coun­tries which qual­ify, and guard against “dis­as­ter” be­ing de­clared where na­tional teams fall short of world sport’s most­watched event.

The 2026 World Cup — which many ex­pect to be hosted across North Amer­ica — could also be run cen­trally by FIFA from Zurich in­stead of by the hosts’ own lo­cal or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee.

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