Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, defended the increase of the World Cup teams to 48. The governing body of the sport’s world voted unanimously for the expansion at a meeting on Tuesday at Zurich.
However, the campaign group New Fifa Now claims that the expansion is “a money grab and power grab”.
Infantino was firm that the decision was based on the value of the sports and not just for profit. He also said that it is the other way and the expansion was a football decision.
Every set-up has financial advantages and the board was in a comfortable situation when they made the decision which is based on sporting merit.
A Fifa research revealed that the projected revenue will increase to 5.29 billion pounds for having the 48 teams play in the tournament. This will make a possible profit increase of 521 million pounds.
The Football Association has asked Fifa to take into consideration the needs of players, fans, teams and leagues and urged for more details on how the tournament is going to work. Infantino admitted that more work is still to be done for the details of the tournament.
However, the European Club Association (ECA) in representing the welfare of clubs at European level expressed their disapproval of the expansion and claimed that the move was more for political than a sporting decision.
But, Infantino is indomitable that the increase of World Cup teams to 48 will enhance the quality of teams in the tournament.
He believes that the real quality will rise because more countries will be able to qualify thus will invest in their star football players as well as their regular players.
In response to the criticisms from the European clubs, Infantino stated that the game has changed. Football is now becoming a real global game. Everybody is glad about investment in Europe, but helping outside Europe should also be considered. European clubs need to be open.