FIFA president Gianno Infantino has announced that the number of participating teams at the World Cup will increase to 40 by the year 2026.
Infantino, 46, disclosed this during his media chat immediately after
an U13 exhibition match between FCT and Enugu at the National Stadium,
Abuja, during his two-day visit to Nigeria on Monday.
According to Goal, the Fifa boss stated that Africa will get at least two of the eight fresh slots in the proposed expanded World Cup format.
“In regards to the expansion of the World Cup and number of slots
for African countries and those other countries around the World,” Infantino said.
“I believe for the World Cup 2026, because World Cup 2018 and 2022 are already decided, there should be 40 teams.
“And out of the eight more there should be at least two slots for African teams.
“This is what I declared during my campaign and as you know I’m
not a dictator but a democratically elected Fifa president, so I have to
speak to everyone and listen to everyone as well.
“The first was the reforms and they have been implemented. The second is for us to should invest more for football development.
“We have done through by increasing the development fund by four
for each member association which had been significantly increased.
“I promised that the secretary general shouldn’t be a European as it was the case in the core history of Fifa.
“The secretary general is African with Samoura and this is good for Africa. It is about time we try to follow words,” he said.
The Fifa boss also declared his readiness to partner with the Nigeria
Football Federation (NFF) in actualising the football made in Anambra
“It is a very important project that the Anambra State FA is
undertaking. We have discussed this with the chairman of the FA and you
know FIFA is very active in the development of the game through the
local association. We are going to embrace the project through the NFF.”