FIFA President Gianni Infantino has come out in defense of the seemingly bizarre move to expand the World Cup to 48 teams. Speaking to journalists after today's FIFA meeting, the football boss had this to say:
"The meeting went well. After taking all potential factors into account, the council voted overwhelmingly to expand the World Cup to 48 teams. I know that it will not be the most popular move, but think about all the potential opportunities this presents to the country hosting it. More matches, more people coming into their country, a great chance to develop its sporting infrastructure. But I think most importantly it presents an opportunity for people in the developed world to get to know countries that they have never heard of before which can potentially benefit from this initiative by qualifying for the world's greatest footballing spectacle."
Not everyone was quite elated and accepting of FIFA's latest project though. Argentine Footballing legend and 1986 World Cup winner - the controversial Diego "Hand of God" Maradona, in an interview with the Buenos Aires-based newspaper El Cronista, had this sarcastic response regarding the new World Cup structure:
"I am so looking forward to this new 48-team World Cup. Just imagine all the new and exciting matches that we might be able to see now: Papua New Guinea vs. India, Nauru vs. Tuvalu and the mouth-watering all Caribbean clash between St Kitts & Nevis and Grenada. Well done Gianni. You are definitely doing a much better job than Sepp."