World Cup news

World Cup expansion interests FIFA VP

October 29, 2013
By ESPN staff

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has told The Times he is “very interested” to hear Michel Platini’s proposal on World Cup expansion.

UEFA president Platini -- whom Sepp Blatter has touted as his potential successor at FIFA -- has suggested that the number of teams participating be increased from 32 to 40.

Platini is proposing to feature two more nations from Asia, Africa and North America, as well as one more from Oceania and Europe, to reflect the global growth of the sport.

“I would be very interested to hear what he has to say,” Boyce said. “It is not something I have heard mentioned but it is certainly something I would give my full consideration to, once I have the full details of Platini’s proposal.”

Despite Boyce’s words, The Times says the idea has been greeted with “cautious enthusiasm by FIFA’s executive committee, with the emphasis firmly on the cautious”.

Expansion will be welcomed in many quarters, and in that sense Platini’s move is viewed by some as a mere attempt to win votes for the FIFA presidency across the 209 federations.

Blatter’s predecessor as FIFA president, the Brazilian Joao Havelange, had expanded the World Cup from 16 teams to 24 in 1982 and then from 24 to 32 in 1998.

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