World Cup team expansion: Fifa suggest 40 teams

Joe Hall
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Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final
Bigger and better? The World Cup could expand to 40 teams (Source: Getty)

Fifa has proposed expanding the World Cup from 32 teams to 40 today in discussions over reforms at world football's governing body.

The expanded tournament could come into effect as soon as 2026 if approved by Fifa's executive committee.

It would extend the group stage of the competition by a week to accommodate 32 additional matches as eight groups of four teams rise to five.

Read more: It goes deeper - more Fifa officials arrested for bribery

Earlier today two high-ranking members of Fifa's executive committee were arrested in dawn raids on the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich.

US officials targeted current and former high-ranking Fifa directors as part of the Department of Justice's investigation into corruption at the heart of world football.

Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino, a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president, expressed support for an expanded World Cup based on the success of an entertaining qualifying campaign for a larger European Championships.

"Look at qualifiers now where some teams who have never qualified did and some teams which have always qualified didn't make it," said Infantino.

"So it created a completely new dynamic in the qualification. It created new enthusiasm. If you are serious about developing football it must involve more associations in the best football event in the world: The World Cup."

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