The FIFA boss, Gianni Infantino on Monday, July 25, 2016, during his two days working visit in Nigeria said 8 more slots would be added to the present 32 slots to make a total of 40 participating countries in the 2026 World Cup.
He made the statement at a media briefing after an U-13 exhibition match between FCT and Enugu at the National Stadium which was part of events lined up for the 46-year-old who was accompanied by the Secretary General, Ms Fat Samoura.
He said Africa will get no fewer than two of the eight fresh slots in the proposed expanded World Cup event.
He said : “In regards to the expansion of the World Cup and number of slots for African countries and those other countries around the World, I believe for the World Cup 2026, because World Cup 2018 and 2022 are already decided, there should be 40 teams.
“And out of the eight more there should be at least two slots for African teams.
“This is what I declared during my campaign and as you know I’m not a dictator but a democratically elected Fifa president, so I have to speak to everyone and listen to everyone as well.”
Concerning development of football, he said, “The first was the reforms and they have been implemented. The second is for us to should invest more for football development.
“We have done through by increasing the development fund by four for each member association which had been significantly increased.
“I promised that the secretary general shouldn’t be an European as it was the case in the core history of Fifa.
“The secretary general is African with Samoura and this is good for Africa. It is about time we try to follow words.”
If implemented, the development might see countries such as Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gabon, Zambia, Mali and Guinea get a shot at glory and fame at the FIFA World Cup.
- Olalekan Olonilua for encomium.ng