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Expanded World Cup would not affect football calendar – Infantino

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Mar 2016

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino does not believe an expanded World Cup would have an impact on the football calendar.

Infantino, who was elected as Sepp Blatter’s successor last Friday, has previously spoken of his desire to expand the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams.

His plans have been opposed by the European Club Association, which said: “We have reached a point where we cannot further burden players”.

However, in an interview with the FIFA 1904 magazine, Infantino said: “It’s no secret that I believe in increasing the World Cup to 40 teams.

“Forty teams is only 19 per cent of the FIFA membership, so it’s not that many compared to the continental final tournaments, which gather between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of affiliated teams.

“We give eight more countries the opportunity to participate, but many more countries the possibility to dream of participating; to play the qualifiers in a very solid way.

“Of course there are issues that we need to analyse and discuss, like: what impact does this have on the calendar?

“I think it’ll have no impact. But we need to look into these matters very carefully and seriously and then we have to move forward.”

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