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Further World Cup expansion possible, says Infantino

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at press conference after the 67th FIFA Congress in Manama, Bahrain May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – FIFA President Gianni Infantino said yesterday that football’s governing body is looking into the possibility of increasing the number of teams at the 2022 World Cup and sharing the hosting rights of an expanded tournament with other nations in the region.

FIFA decided earlier this year to expand the 2026 World Cup, to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, to 48 teams from 32 while leaving the door open to raising the number playing in Qatar in four years’ time.

“We have decided to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments from 32 to 48 and this will happen in 2026,” Infantino said in an address to the Asian Football Confederation’s annual congress.

“Will it happen in 2022? We are looking at it. If it is possible, why not?”

Infantino said an expanded tournament would see Asia’s allocation rise to 8.5 places from 4.5.

“We have to see if it is possible, if it is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends.

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