Prince Ali bin Al Hussein has confirmed his intention to expand the World Cup to 36 times after being left as the sole candidate to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
Michael van Praag and Luis Figo both announced that they would not be putting their names on the ballot box on Thursday in order to throw support behind a single challenger to prevent Blatter winning a fifth consecutive term in office.
Subsequently, Van Praag and Prince Ali conducted a joint news conference to outline their vision.
In Prince Ali’s revised manifesto, he revealed his plans for the World Cup to have four more teams, with the AFC, CAF and CONCACAF federations all gaining an additional team, while the CONMEBOL and OFC federations will rise from 4.5 and 0.5 to five and one slots respectively.
“[I will make a] commitment to extend the number of teams in the World Cup from 32 to 36 teams as soon as possible,” Prince Ali said.
“Ideally in time for the 2018 World Cup [in Russia].”
Upon confirming his advocacy for Prince Ali, Van Praag urged his supporters to back his campaign.
“I’ve also talked to the presidents who endorsed me with a letter, they understand and support what me and Prince Ali are doing,” he said.
“I fully support Mr Ali and ask for the member states that promised me their support to vote for Prince Ali in the coming elections.
“I will have an active role in the next weeks to convince those people who need to be convinced to vote for the Prince.”