CONMEBOL asks FIFA to fast-track World Cup expansion

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-13 06:21:02|Editor: yan
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BUENOS AIRES, April 12 (Xinhua) -- South American football governing body CONMEBOL has asked FIFA to bring forward plans for a World Cup expansion.

FIFA delegates last year voted to increase the number of participating nations to 48 from 32 at the 2026 tournament in Qatar.

However South American officials made a formal request to fast-track the changes on Thursday during CONMEBOL's annual congress, whose guests included FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

"As we like to think big and do [football] justice, I am presenting a written request signed by CONMEBOL's 10 countries for the 2022 World Cup to be played with 48 teams," the organization's president Alejandro Domínguez said.

While not commenting directly on the proposal, Infantino paid tribute to the "solidarity and unity" of South American football.

"I want to congratulate everyone at CONMEBOL for their great work and for strengthening one of the most important confederations," Infantino said. "It is a great pleasure and an honor to be in South America. South America is the passion, the heart of football."

CONMEBOL officials also used the event to promote the joint candidacy of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to host the 2030 World Cup, which will take place 100 years after Uruguay won the inaugural edition as hosts.

"Everyone has a sense of expectation and we're asking that the World Cup return to its home on its 100th birthday.