By 2026, FIFA may increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup from 32 to 40 if a proposal being looked into by the world football body scales through.
No formal agreement on the matter was reached at FIFA’s Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, but an executive committee member, Wolfgang Niersbach said it will be discussed at a later date.
He said in a statement:“No decision was taken on expanding the World Cup to 40 teams from 2026.
“The Asian and African representatives on the executive committee were in favour of it. This matter has been put off until a future meeting.”
The World Cup was a 16-team competition before being expanded to 24 nations in 1982 and then to 32 for the first time in France in 1998. The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup was postponed in June due to the corruption scandal which has centred around the attribution of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 finals to Qatar.