"Every format has advantages in financial terms. We were in a comfortable situation to take a decision based on sporting merit.
Report informs, President of FIFA Gianni Infantino told in his interview to BBC.
Infantino told that this is a historic decision which marks the entrance of the World Cup into the 21st Century. The head of world football governing body believes that increase of number teams in the tournament from 32 to 48 starting from 2026 may raise the quality of matches: "I believe that the actual quality could rise, because many more countries will have the chance to qualify so they will invest in their elite football as well as grassroots."
Infantino said that football’s development should not be limited to one continent: "The game has changed. Football has now become a truly global game. Everyone is happy about investment in Europe, but what about helping outside Europe? They need to be open. The key message from clubs I appreciate fully has always been don't touch the calendar, the dates of the World Cup or the burden for the players, and both these commissions fulfil them. We will play 32 days like now, we play maximum seven matches like now”.
FIFA council decided to expand number of teams participating in World Cup. The decision is estimated to bring extra 500 mln EUR revenue to football’s world governing body.