Planned expansion of FIFA World Cup reflects growth of football – FFA

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has applauded the planned expansion of the FIFA World Cup saying it reflects the growth of football, especially in Asia.

FIFA voted unanimously to expand the World Cup to a 48-team tournament in 2026 following a meeting in Zurich with the new format having the finals feature 16 groups of three countries before a 32-team knockout stage.

“Australia is part of the Asian Football Confederation [AFC] where the most significant growth and investment is occurring and we expect this trend to continue over the coming years leading up to the World Cup expansion,” Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive David Gallop said in a statement on Wednesday.

“As the quality of Asian football continues to improve, AFC Member Associations will justifiably deserve greater representation at the FIFA World Cup.

“In the meantime we will stay focused on achieving qualification for the Socceroos for next year’s World Cup in Russia and we hope all Australians will get behind the team for their final qualifying matches.”