FIFA defers decision on 40-team World Cup starting in 2026

ZURICH: The FIFA executive committee has deferred a decision on expanding the World Cup to 40 teams starting at the 2026 tournament.

The German soccer federation says the FIFA administration will have further talks about the plan, which is supported by Asia and Africa.

The idea to add eight teams was part of FIFA reform proposals being considered Thursday. The executive committee had the power to make it FIFA policy without approval of the 209 member federations.

The 2026 bidding should start next year with the United States, Canada and Mexico the expected candidates.

The 40-team World Cup was first suggested by UEFA President Michel Platini in 2013. It is an election pledge by FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino, the UEFA general secretary.