Federation Internationale de Football Association says 48-team tournament 'feasible'


Infantino said five members of the Council did not attend the meeting, the first for FIFA's leadership in the USA since American law enforcement arrested numerous sport's top officials in 2015 on corruption charges.

A 48-team World Cup in Qatar and another Gulf state in 2022 moved a step closer last night after football chiefs pushed on with plans to extend the competition early.

It has already been agreed that the 2026 tournament, to be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and United States, will feature 48 teams.

The Club World Cup fills the slot previously reserved for the Confederations Cup, which had served as a test event in a host nation a year before the World Cup.

The two biggest governing bodies in world football, meanwhile, are on a collision course after FIDA approved plans for an expanded Club World Cup from June 2021.

Following Infantino's announcement, a spokesperson for the ECA said: "ECA clubs will not participate in 2021 CWC and will assess participation in editions of the competition post-2024".

The FIFA Council approved the establishment of a new landmark club competition: a revamped, 24-team FIFA Club World Cup, the pilot edition of which will be held in June and July 2021.

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The move to scrap the current seven-team tournament, which takes place every winter but is largely ignored by European fans, and replace it with a larger, more lucrative contest every fourth summer, would appear to set Federation Internationale de Football Association on collision course with Europe's elite.

The FIFA Council met in Miami on Friday and discussed the results of a feasibility study that looked at the possibility of expanding the tournament. "If it doesn't happen - fantastic also", he said. The top three teams from the AFC Under-16 Championship qualify for the Under-17 Women's World Cup.

They said they are "firmly against any approval of a revised Club World Cup at this point in time and confirm that no ECA clubs would take part to such a competition".

"I am always happy but especially today because we have taken some important decisions". The ECA had no immediate comment after the decision.

The ECA says a decision on potential new competitions can only be made as part of an agreed framework for the global match calendar post-2024.

Besides the U-17 Women's WC, India had also expressed interest in hosting the U-20 Women's World Cup.

The FIFA Council also chose to use VAR video review technology at June's Women's World Cup in France.