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‘Federations Support 48-Team Football World Cup’

International'Federations Support 48-Team Football World Cup'

Global football federations are “overwhelmingly in favour” of plans for a 48-team World Cup, Fifa president Gianni Infantino says.

The head of football’s governing body outlined his vision for an expanded tournament comprising 16 groups of three teams earlier this month.

The top two teams in each group would progress to the knockout rounds.fifa-president

A decision will be made in January but any change to the 32-team format is unlikely to come in before 2026.

Fifa’s council will discuss the proposal at a meeting on 9 January but Infantino, 46, made expansion part of his election manifesto.

The number of competing teams at World Cups last changed in 1998, increasing from 24 to 32.

Infantino also said experiments around video technology in refereeing at the recent Club World Cup had been “very positive” and that he hoped the system would be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The system was first used to award a penalty in Kashima Antlers’ semi-final win over Atletico Nacional, with the referee alerted by an assistant watching a monitor.

But there was confusion in the other semi-final between Real Madrid and Club America when the technology was used again.

After the referee asked for a consultation following a Cristiano Ronaldo goal, play briefly restarted from a free-kick for an infringement before the goal was eventually allowed to stand.

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