FIFA president Gianni Infantino has long spoken of his desire to expand the World Cup beyond its current 32 teams. Now he has officially thrown his support by a new size and format: 48 teams in 16 groups of three.
Infantino had advocated for an expanded World Cup while he was still UEFA president. Soon after being elected FIFA president, he continued his campaign to expand the tournament, making it clear that it was a priority for him.
Originally, Infantino floated the idea of a 48-team World Cup where the top 16 teams would get byes and the remaining teams would play in play-offs to get into the group stage, then the tournament would proceed with a 32-team group stage just like it does now. One of the concerns with that is 16 teams would make the World Cup, travel all the way to the tournament and be done after just one match.
By putting the 48 teams into 16 groups of three,…