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Infantino says 32, 40 and 48-team World Cups on the table

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FIFA's President Gianni Infantino looks on following his meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria, July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
FIFA's President Gianni Infantino looks on following his meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria, July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that proposals for a 32, 40 or 48-team World Cup in 2026 were still on the table and that a larger tournament would not mean a drop in quality.

He also stood by his own idea, first mooted last week, for a 48-team tournament, starting with a playoff round featuring 32 teams in which the 16 losers would go straight home after a single game.

A document presented to the FIFA Council, and seen by Reuters, offered 10 different possible formats, for varying numbers of teams.

"There is a positive feeling around the council but the details are still to be elaborated, whether it's 40 teams, eight groups of five or 10 groups of four, or 48 teams with a playoff at the start," Infantino told reporters. "This is still very much a work in progress."

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)


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