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FIFA president hopes Africa gets two more World Cup slots

Abuja (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Monday he hopes Africa gets two more spots at the World Cup if his proposal for the tournament to be expanded to 40 teams goes through. 

There are presently 32 finalists for the World Cup with Africa represented by five teams. 

Infantino, elected in February this year, arrived in Abuja on Sunday on a two-day visit to Nigeria.

He is accompanied by new secretary-general Fatma Samoura, who until her appointment in May headed the UN Development Programme in the West African country.

“I believe for the 2026 World Cup, we should have 40 teams and out of the additional eight teams we should have at least two more African teams,” Infantino told reporters in Abuja.

“We are discussing this and I hope I will be able to convince everyone as well.” 

Infantino who earlier met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, described him as “a friend of football”. 

The FIFA chief said he regards Nigeria as the bedrock for the development of football on the continent. 

“I foresee Nigeria as a bedrock for the development of the game in Africa, however infrastructure, stability and security are needed to make this happen,” he said. 

During his visit, Infantino met with 18 federation presidents across Africa and also attended the final of a national youth tournament. 

Nigeria is seen as one of the giants of African football even though its national side, the Super Eagles, failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the second time in succession.

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  1. Distin

    July 25, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    After seeing the harm expansion did to Euro 2016 you would think they would learn a lesson.
    Corrupt people.

  2. Ivan

    July 25, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Great…more pandering…make the WC to 120 teams, the European Championship to 54 teams, let every one play, forget meritocracy…the quality of football will suffer, but who cares about quality-this will mean more games, more tv rights revenue, the stuff that truly matters…and those in charge will ensure reelection by saying, “Hey, I got you to play in the World Cup!”

    The sad thing is Europe will again get shafted if they expand to 40 teams, with almost if not all of the new spots going to Africa, Asia, etc….and we all know that those European qualifiers are brutal, and if you look at performance by continent, European countries disproportionately dominate in the WC, including winning every world cup since Brazil won it in 2002…

    But, hey, let’s give Africa more places, it’s not like the highest achievement of an African team is a 1/4 final…aaaah, FIFA, the most corrupt organization in the history of mankind… at least the emperor got new clothes, it’s a brand new emperor, actually!

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