Infantino eyes further World Cup expansion after ‘best ever’ tournament

LYON (AFP) – FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Friday he is determined to push ahead with plans to expand the women’s World Cup to 32 teams in time for the next tournament after hailing France 2019 as “the best ever”.

Speaking at a press conference in Lyon, Infantino claimed the tournament had been “phenomenal” as he promised huge increases in investment in the women’s game and to the prize fund for future competitions.

“There was a before and there will be an after the World Cup but it is up to us to seize the opportunity and do something about it,” added Infantino.

Rolling out a series of proposals for the development of the women’s game, Infantino said he would try to expand the competition from 24 teams to 32 in time for the next tournament in four years.

“I think we should increase the number of participants,” said Infantino, who has succeeded in expanding the men’s tournament from 32 teams to 48 in time for the 2026 finals.

“The tricky thing is that we have a World Cup coming in 2023 for which we started just a couple of months ago a bidding process based on 24 teams, so there we will need to act more quickly if we want to have more teams already in 2023.”