Figo wants '40 or 48' teams at the World Cup

Fifa presidential candidate launches his manifesto that includes increasing the number of teams at the World Cup.

    Figo is one of three men challenging Blatter [Reuters]
    Figo is one of three men challenging Blatter [Reuters]

    Luis Figo would consider expanding the World Cup, possibly to 40 or even 48 teams, if he is elected Fifa president in May.

    Luis Figo is proposing an increase from 32 to '40 or 48' teams at the World Cup as part of .

    The former Portugal international revealed his FIFA presidential manifesto at Wembley Stadium and also said a greater percentage of FIFA's income should be spent on grassroots development.

    This image we are aware of this organisation that leads football is not the appropriate image

    Luis Figo

    The former Portugal winger, who played at two World Cups, said that the current 32-team tournament could be increased to 40 teams or FIFA could stage two 24-team competitions simultaneously on two continents followed by a knockout phase in one nation.

    "I believe we should consider proposals to expand the competition to a 40 or even 48 team World Cup," Figo told a news conference.

    "Both these options are feasible with an extra three to four days of tournament play. If this expansion were to take place I believe that additional teams should come from non-European nations."

    Figo, the 2001 Fifa world player of the year, also proposes spreading half of FIFA's $2.5bn revenue over four years to associations to fund grassroots football. He said $1bn of Fifa's $1.5bn cash reserves should be redistributed to the 209 national federations.

    Figo is one of three men challenging incumbent Sepp Blatter. Michael Van Praag, the president of the Dutch FA, and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, a member of the FIFA executive committee, are also standing.

    "There are obstacles that will have to be overcome,'' said Figo.

    "This image we are aware of this organisation that leads football is not the appropriate image. I trust that most of (the national associations) want change and are ready for change, a democratic change, a change so that we achieve transparency and a change that goes back to football itself.''

    The election takes place at the FIFA congress in Zurich on May 29.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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