FIFA to Vote on World Cup Expansion

January 10, 2017

FIFA is due to vote today on plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026. The new format was suggested by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who replaced former president Sepp Blatter in February 2016.

Infantino, who served as General Secretary of UEFA before beginning his current role, favours a 48-team format encompassing 16 groups of three teams.

However, the FIFA council will vote on five options: two 48-team tournaments, two 40-team competitions, and the current 32-team format. The World Cup currently sees 64 matches take place, with the new plans set to increase the number of games by either 16 or 24.

Infantino has stated that the plans would benefit ‘football development all around the world’ and has also revealed FIFA research that indicated financial revenue would rise by over £500m.

The most recent World Cup overhaul was in 1998, when the competition rose from 24 to 32 teams.