FIFA boss open to 40-team World Cup

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September 07, 2016
Infantino

GENEVA (AP):

FIFA President Gianni Infantino is open to a 40-team World Cup in 2026, with several countries serving as co-hosts.

With key World Cup talks due next month, Infantino's comments yesterday show that FIFA will consider co-hosting by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The North American neighbours have long been expected bidders for 2026, even competing against each other because the CONCACAF region is favoured to host for the first time since 1994. Then, 24 teams played in the US.

In his presidential election campaign, Infantino supported expanding the tournament and hosting across a region.

"These two topics will certainly be on the table for discussion," Infantino said, looking ahead to a meeting of the FIFA Council he will chair on October 13-14 in Zurich.

Asked about a potential US-Canada-Mexico project for 2026, the former UEFA general secretary noted that his previous organisation chose to hold the 2020 European Championship in 13 different host nations.

"So, there is, I would say, no limit to whatever is good for football," Infantino said on the sidelines of a meeting of European clubs. "We will see, but it's true that CONCACAF did not have the World Cup for a long time."

FIFA rules currently bar back-to-back hosting by continents, ruling out Asian bidders for 2026 after Qatar hosts in 2022.

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