ASUNCION, Paraguay.- FIFA President Gianni Infantino indicated that the request of the South American Football Confederation to increase the number of selections in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup to 48 will be analyzed.
During an appearance on Friday at the annual Conmebol congress, Infantino also considered premature to talk about the 2030 World Cup venue, whose organization Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay want to jointly deal with.
It was assumed that the increase of 32 to 48 selections would begin with the 2026 tournament following a proposal from Infantino that was approved last year. But CONMEBOL raised the expansion in mid-April.
” The request will be studied, but there is a decision that 48 selected will participate from the World Cup 2026,” said Infantino at a press conference. ” The 2022 World Cup is scheduled for 32 teams, but we will see if it is feasible to increase it .”
Robert Harrison, the boss of Paraguayan football, reported that CONMEBOL has given its support to Mexico, the United States, and Canada to jointly organize the 2026 World Cup.
Morocco presented the other candidacy competing against the three nations of CONCACAF. FIFA will define the venue, the first with a format of 48 teams, in a vote of its member federations in the Congress to be held on June 13 in Moscow, just before the opening of the World Cup in Russia.
On the aspirations of the three southern cone countries for the 2030 World Cup, Infantino affirmed that the process for that tournament has not yet started and it is ” premature to talk about that “.
Fernando Marín, the Argentine coordinator of the tripartite candidacy, said this week that the Conmebol will request that the election of the 2030 tournament venue be advanced by 2020. The tournament, if awarded, would be a tribute to the first World Cup played in 1930 in Uruguay.
Infantino, who attended the CONMEBOL congress where Paraguayan President Alejandro Domínguez was re-elected as president, specified that the three countries ” made an expression of interest but we hope that there are more nations interested in organizing it .”
On the other hand, Dominguez referred to the FIFA project for the dispute every four years, since 2021, of the Club World Cup, in June and not in December.
” This new format, whose details we do not have, will represent a new opportunity for South America to show the quality of its football, ” said Dominguez, ruling out an eventual decline in sports quality.
The contest, with 24 clubs, would replace the Confederations Cup on the calendar. Regarding the 2019 Copa América, Dominguez mentioned that Mexico and the United States were invited but did not respond.
Mexico participated uninterruptedly in all editions, from Colombia 1993 to the Copa América Bicentenario that was held in the United States in 2016. However, the Conmebol announced last week that Japan and Qatar will be the guests for the edition that will be held in Brazil, adding to the ten selected South Americans.
Since the Copa América was played almost at the same time as the Gold Cup, the CONCACAF gala tournament, Mexico had begun to resort to alternate teams to compete in South America.
” CONMEBOL sent invitations to Mexico and the United States through CONCACAF, ” said Dominguez. ” After some time, we did not receive a response.