Fifa presidential candidate Jérôme Champagne has dismissed electoral rival Gianni Infantino’s promise to expand the World Cup to 40 teams as “demagoguery” and “pure fantasy.”
With just two weeks to go until the Fifa Extraordinary Congress on February 26, where Sepp Blatter’s successor will be elected, Champagne has claimed that expanding the World Cup as Infantino has proposed would be unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming.
Speaking from his office in Zurich, Champagne said: “It sounds very appealing, but the reality is that the World Cup of 32 teams is already too costly and too complicated to organise. [Expanding] would reduce our ability to improve stadiums and public transportation. Secondly, a World Cup of 40 would need ten groups of four or eight groups of five. If you’re coming from a club background, you’d say that the calendar is already too full. We have to protect the leagues and the clubs and the players.”