Reports out of Mexico and South America on Saturday indicate that FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants to continue his drastic changes to the World Cup by altering the qualification process for two of FIFA’s confederations.
According to reports, Infantino has a proposal ready to merge CONCACAF and CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying formats into one big competition. The new format would consist of 46 countries playing for 14 World Cup spots.
This would be in conjunction with his earlier proposal of expanding the World Cup itself to a 40 or 48-team format from its current 32-team field. It’s believed that Infantino will introduce both proposals to the FIFA Council to be held this month.
If approved, both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL would compete against each other to qualify for the 2026 World Cup. It remains to be seen how exactly the 46 country field would be narrowed down from CONCACAF’s perspective with so many different countries involved in many different rounds.
While all of these proposals are still in the idea stage, it’s clear that Infantino has a real desire to make significant changes to the world’s biggest sporting event. If he has his way, we’re going to see a lot more high intensity matches in the western hemisphere come next decade.