FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants to increase the number of teams competing at World Cup finals to 48.
Infantino, who succeeded Sepp Blatter earlier this year, is keen to introduce space for 16 more teams into the quadrennial showpiece tournament.
Infantino has suggested that the format of the competition could change from eight groups of four teams to 16 groups of three. That would mean some nations being drawn into Group P during the first round.
According to AFP , Infantino would be looking at introducing a larger edition of the competition from 2026.
Infantino will submit his latest proposal at a FIFA Council meeting in Zurich on January 9-10.
Members of the Council have received a recommendation from the governing body setting out four proposed formats, including sticking to a 32-team World Cup. Another option is a 40-team version.
Within the 48-team proposal, the top two teams from each group would qualify for a knockout round featuring 32 nations.
‘Whether it will be 40 or 48, it was a positive discussion. I don’t agree it will dilute the quality,’ Infantino said at the time.
‘I would like to remind you that in the last World Cup, England and Italy were eliminated by Costa Rica. The level of football is increasing all over the world.
‘In a 48-team format, the quality would be higher because the 32 teams would have a play off. The quality would improve and not decrease in any way.’