Football

Michel Platini wants World Cup expansion

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Michel Platini has called for the World Cup to be expanded to 40 teams, according to The Times.

The out-spoken former Ballon d'Or winner wants to see greater representation from outside of Europe, with an increase in teams from Asia and Africa competing at the tournament.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently revealed his desire to see greater representation at the World Cup from African teams, and Platini has backed the idea, with an expansion presenting the best way of introducing the change.

In Blatter's proposal, he suggested spots be taken away from current continents, but Platini - chief of European football's governing body - doesn't want to see spots taken from Europe.

Africa currently have five spots at the World Cup, while Asia confusingly have four and a half.

It would be these continents that benefit most from Platini's proposed expansion and he says the expansion could happen with relative ease and little disruption to the current format of the World Cup.

"It's good for everybody," Platini said in The Times. "I totally agree with Mr Blatter that we need more African and Asian (countries). But instead of taking away some European, we have to go to 40 teams in the World Cup.

"We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American and one from Europe. I support this idea totally.

"Football is changing and now we have 209 associations. There are more countries so why reduce? Forty is not so bad. You have three days more of competition and you make more people happy."

The next UEFA international tournament - the 2016 European Championships - were recently expanded and the tournament in France will host 24 nations for the first time having previously seen 16 teams compete.

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World Cup
Football

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