Johannesburg (AFP) – Africa wants 10 places in a proposed 48-nation World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was told in Johannesburg Wednesday.
The Swiss-Italian was attending a two-day meeting of African national football association presidents behind closed doors.
“All associations back an expanded World Cup and Africa hopes for 10 places,” said South African FA president Danny Jordaan, according to a Johannesburg radio station.
The proposed expansion of the World Cup, if passed by the FIFA Council, would come into effect for the 2026 tournament.
Should the Infantino proposal come into effect, there will be 16 first-round groups from which winners and runners-up qualify for the knockout phase.
Africa has had five places since the 1998 World Cup in France without making a significant impact on the four-yearly tournament.
No African country has gone further than the quarter-finals and the 2014 World Cup was the first in which two teams from the continent reached the knockout stage.
Infantino used the summit to explain his World Cup proposal to increase the number of participants from the current 32, and to spell out new development projects.
“The gathering was a worthwhile exercise,” said one national football association president, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.
“It was good talking directly to the FIFA president about matters that concern us in running our organisations.”
Infantino, who did not speak to the media while in Johannesburg, flies to Harare Thursday for the birthday party of Zimbabwe FA president Philip Chiyangwa.
On Friday, the FIFA president visits Uganda and is expected to meet President Yoweri Museveni.
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