FIFA President Infantino says 48 teams at 2026 World Cup 'reasonable' number

By Haruna Mubarak
FIFA President Infantino
FIFA President Infantino

MOSCOW, July 13 (Sputnik) - FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Friday that it would be reasonable to have 48 teams playing at the 2026 FIFA World Cup because they still represent less than a quarter of all FIFA members.

The World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, will see the tournament expanded from the current roster of 32 to 48 teams.

"And finally, 48 teams is less than 25 percent of the FIFA members so I think it's still a reasonable number," Infantino told journalists.

He also said the quality of the teams was very high all over the world, which had led to some of the World Cup stalwarts, including four-time champions Italy, failing to qualify for this summer's tournament.

"We see it as well with what has happened in this World Cup with Croatia in the final. Who would have expected...

"This shows that the quality is very high at a very broad level and there is nothing more powerful than participating in an event like the World Cup to boost football in a country," Infantino said.

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will come to a close on Sunday, with France facing Croatia in the final, which will be played at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.