FRANKFURT: Joachim Low, coach of world champions Germany, has criticised the ambition of FIFA president Gianni Infantino to expand the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Infantino reiterated one of his most widely-publicised campaign manifesto pillars this past week in an address to an extraordinary election congress of the African football confederation.
However Low said he feared that any further expansion of the finals would reduce the quality of football and, hence, its attraction.
He told the German media: “The sporting value of the World Cup should not be watered down though I understand entirely the ambition for the smaller nations to step up on to the biggest football stage.”
Low thought that the busy international calendar had already reached maximum capacity in ternms of the mental and physical demands beong placed on the world’s best players.
He added: “We need to be clear in stating that in the long run quality is suffering.”
Similar sentiments were expressed recently by German league president Reinhard Rauball.
A report from a working group considering the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup will come under scrutiny on October 13-14 at the first meeting of the newly-expanded FIFA Council.
The only one of the six confederations which will not be fully represented will be Asia after its confederation chaotically called off its own recent congress which had been scheduled to elect additional delegates to the governing body.