FIFA executive committee debates World Cup expansion to 40 teams

Zurich, Dec. 3 (GNA/dpa) – The FIFA executive committee is debating an expansion of the World Cup field from 32 to 40 teams from 2026 onwards at its Thursday meeting, dpa has learnt.

Sources say that the World Cup field expansion is part of a major reform package to be ratified by the executive committee.

Several officials have lately called for more teams at the showcase tournament, including UEFA General Secretary and FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino.

Unlike other parts of the reform package, a World Cup expansion would not require approval from the FIFA Congress on February 26, which will also elect a new president in succession of Joseph Blatter.

The 2018 and 2022 tournaments in Russia and Qatar will however be played with 32 teams.

A 40-team tournament could see up to 32 additional games for a possible total of 96. The 2026 host nation will not be picked before 2017.