UEFA chief Platini calls for 40-team World Cup

UEFA president Michel Platini has said that the World Cup should be expanded in the future to contain 40 participating nations, rather than the usual 32, BBC Sport.

The Frenchman’s proposal comes after FIFA president Sepp Blatter claimed that more African and Asian countries should be allowed into the World Cup at the expense of European nations. Currently, 13 European countries qualify for each World Cup, compared to five in Africa, and a guaranteed four from Asia.

Platini has already overseen the expansion of the European Championships from 16 teams to 24, and believes that having a 40-team World Cup would be a better alternative than reducing qualifying places in Europe. He said: “Instead of taking away some European [nations], we have to go to 40 teams in the World Cup. We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American and one from Europe. I support this idea totally.”

The change could be made for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and it would see an expansion to the current format. Rather than eight groups of four, each group will contain five nations, which would mean that the tournament will run for three extra days.

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