Gianni Infantino

AFP

Africa wants 10 World Cup places – official

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Africa wants 10 places in a proposed 48-nation World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was told in Johannesburg Wednesday.

The Swiss-Italian was attending a two-day meeting of African national football association presidents behind closed doors.

“All associations back an expanded World Cup and Africa hopes for 10 places,” said South African FA president Danny Jordaan, according to a Johannesburg radio station.

FIFA head Infantino to to meet African football bosses

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Johannesburg (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino will be in South Africa and Zimbabwe this week to meet African football bosses and attend a birthday party.

He has invited all 54 African national football association presidents to Johannesburg for two days of meetings, starting Tuesday.

Russian hooligans warn of ‘festival of violence’ at 2018 World Cup

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London (AFP) – Russian hooligans have warned of a “festival of violence” at next year’s World Cup, in a BBC documentary aired on Thursday in which the fans celebrate street fights at Euro 2016.

Hours after FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was not concerned about violence at the tournament, the BBC’s “Russia’s Hooligan Army” showed fans predicting clashes between supporters.

FIFA boss not worried about hooligans at Russia World Cup

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Doha (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Thursday he did not fear hooligan troubles at the World Cup in Russia next year despite reported threats against foreign fans.

“I am not concerned about trouble in 2018, I have full confidence in the Russian authorities,” Infantino told AFP and a small group of reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Doha.

Expanded World Cup ‘more competitive’ says Portugal coach

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Lisbon (AFP) FIFA's expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026 will make football's showpiece tournament "more competitive", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said Thursday.

"We must avoid being too dramatic," Santos said. "If this expansion meant an increase in the number of games (played during the tournament) things would be more complicated, but as it's not the case, I'm clearly in favour of it.

A 48-team World Cup, but who can host it?

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Paris (AFP) FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams starting with the 2026 tournament prompted one major question: who can host the global showpiece in its revamped format?

North America is the favourite and in pole position with other former candidates relegated to outsiders.

Putin pledges swift fix to St Petersburg stadium issues

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Moscow (AFP) President Vladimir Putin on Friday assured FIFA boss Gianni Infantino that problems with the World Cup venue in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg would be solved by the end of the year.

"It's a very sad story," Russian news agencies quoted Putin as telling Infantino at the Kremlin, referring to the scandal-plagued construction of the Saint Petersburg stadium that will host the Confederations Cup in 2017 and a World Cup semi-final in 2018.

Putin pledges swift fix to St Petersburg stadium issues

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Moscow (AFP) President Vladimir Putin on Friday assured FIFA boss Gianni Infantino that problems with the World Cup venue in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg would be solved by the end of the year.

"It's a very sad story," Russian news agencies quoted Putin as telling Infantino at the Kremlin, referring to the scandal-plagued construction of the Saint Petersburg stadium that will host the Confederations Cup in 2017 and a World Cup semi-final in 2018.

FIFA boss Infantino confronts numbers game in World Cup expansion

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Wednesday that everyone agrees on the need to expand the World Cup finals but there are divisions on whether there should be 40 or 48 teams.

Infantino campaigned for the FIFA leadership this year on the back of adding to the 32 nations at the current World Cup.

FIFA boss Infantino confronts numbers game in World Cup expansion

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Wednesday that everyone agrees on the need to expand the World Cup finals but there are divisions on whether there should be 40 or 48 teams.

Infantino campaigned for the FIFA leadership this year on the back of adding to the 32 nations at the current World Cup.

FIFA chief Infantino kicks off talks on World Cup expansion

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino wrapped up the first of 11 executive meetings with federation representatives Wednesday by saying those gathered in Paris were all in favour of expanding the World Cup.

Infantino is all for growing the cash cow tournament from 32 to as many as 48 teams.

FIFA chief Infantino kicks off talks on World Cup expansion

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino wrapped up the first of 11 executive meetings with federation representatives Wednesday by saying those gathered in Paris were all in favour of expanding the World Cup.

Infantino is all for growing the cash cow tournament from 32 to as many as 48 teams.

FIFA envoy seeks deal on Israeli settlement clubs

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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) FIFA envoy Tokyo Sexwale on Tuesday called for movement on the "headache" issue of Israeli clubs in settlements in the occupied West Bank, after meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino last month told AFP the issue was a "priority" for him, and Sexwale, chairman of theFIFA Monitoring Committee on Israel-Palestine, addressed the subject in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

FIFA envoy seeks deal on Israeli settlement clubs

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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) FIFA envoy Tokyo Sexwale on Tuesday called for movement on the "headache" issue of Israeli clubs in settlements in the occupied West Bank, after meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino last month told AFP the issue was a "priority" for him, and Sexwale, chairman of theFIFA Monitoring Committee on Israel-Palestine, addressed the subject in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

FIFA chief Infantino wants video refs for next World Cup

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is in favour of introducing video refereeing for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after previously expressing fears it would break up games too much.

The head of world football's governing body told Tuesday's Le Parisien newspaper that he was sceptical at first about using video technology to assist referees in crucial decisions.

FIFA moves to close loss-making museum – source

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA plans to close its loss-making $142 million World Football Museum, a landmark project of ousted president Sepp Blatter, which was only opened eight months ago, a FIFA source said Friday.

While football's world body denied any immediate closure, it estimated a loss of more than $30 million for 2016 and said the FIFA Council will hold talks on the museum's future at a January meeting.

FIFA moves to close loss-making museum – source

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA plans to close its loss-making $142 million World Football Museum, a landmark project of ousted president Sepp Blatter, which was only opened eight months ago, a FIFA source said Friday.

While football's world body denied any immediate closure, it estimated a loss of more than $30 million for 2016 and said the FIFA Council will hold talks on the museum's future at a January meeting.

FIFA to decide on World Cup reform in January

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA executives will make a final decision on World Cup reform in January after weighing up three proposals on Thursday, as president Gianni Infantino pushes plans to grow the lucrative tournament.

Infantino said it was possible that FIFA will leave the competition as a 32-team event, but he has made no secret of his desire to see the World Cup involve more countries, and more revenue, from 2026 and beyond.

Palestinian youths march on settlement in message to FIFA

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Maale Adumim (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) Palestinian children marched on an Israeli settlement to play football there on Tuesday, in a protest ahead of a key FIFA meeting to discuss teams from Israeli settlements.

Boys aged between 11 and 15 from nearby Bedouin communities tried to enter the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank.

West Bank clubs row ‘a priority’ for FIFA boss

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino will make finding a solution to the bitter dispute over Israeli football clubs playing inside the occupied West Bank a "priority", he told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Six clubs in the Israeli league currently play in West Bank Jewish settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

West Bank clubs row ‘a priority’ for FIFA boss

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino will make finding a solution to the bitter dispute over Israeli football clubs playing inside the occupied West Bank a "priority", he told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Six clubs in the Israeli league currently play in West Bank Jewish settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

FIFA chief backs ‘more open’ 48-team World Cup

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed in an exclusive interview with AFP on Thursday that he backs expanding the World Cup to 48 teams, giving "more of a chance to more teams".

Infantino believes "a fundamental point" for an expanded finals would be to have it co-hosted "by several countries".

FIFA president Infantino proposes 48-team World Cup

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Bogota (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Monday he would like to expand the number of teams in the World Cup to 48 by adding a one-match playoff at the tournament's start.

Under the new format, the 16 countries that finish highest in qualifying rounds for the 2026 World Cup would automatically make the group stage of the global football showcase, Infantino said.

FIFA president Infantino proposes 48-team World Cup

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Bogota (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Monday he would like to expand the number of teams in the World Cup to 48 by adding a one-match playoff at the tournament's start.

Under the new format, the 16 countries that finish highest in qualifying rounds for the 2026 World Cup would automatically make the group stage of the global football showcase, Infantino said.

FIFA boss undeterred by Asian congress snub

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Panaji (India) (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino played down an embarrassing rebuke by Asia's football body on Tuesday after it scrapped elections to the world body's new council in protest at the barring of a candidate.

The FIFA boss watched as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) delegates voted 42-1 against adopting the agenda for their extraordinary congress in Goa, halting the meeting after just 20 minutes.

Ceferin’s UEFA win message for change – Infantino

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Zurich (AFP) The election of Aleksander Ceferin to succeed the disgraced Michel Platini at the head of UEFA was a clear message from within of a desire for change, FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino said Friday.

Ceferin is an accomplished lawyer with little record in football before he became head of the Slovenian federation in 2011.

World Cup

Infantino: 2026 World Cup could be joint-hosted by up to 'four countries'

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has made no secret his desire for a massively expanded World Cup, including hosting duties being shared by as many as four countries.

Infantino, who championed the now expanded 48-team World Cup starting in 2026, has stated that not only is he comfortable with the concept of a joint-hosted World Cup, but envisions as many as four countries joining their efforts to host at once.

FIFA boss makes gains on World Cup expansion

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino built momentum towards expanding the World Cup Friday as some powerbrokers appeared to back the move, while sceptics will have to be convinced before a final call in January.

Growing the cash cow tournament from 32 to as many as 48 teams topped the agenda at this week's FIFA Council meeting.

FIFA boss makes gains on World Cup expansion

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino built momentum towards expanding the World Cup Friday as some powerbrokers appeared to back the move, while sceptics will have to be convinced before a final call in January.

Growing the cash cow tournament from 32 to as many as 48 teams topped the agenda at this week's FIFA Council meeting.

Report: FIFA president Infantino wants 48-team World Cup

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Photo by AFP: Fabrice Coffrini

An expanded World Cup officially has the backing of FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Infantino, speaking during an event at Bogota's Sergio Arboleda university,has suggested expanding the World Cup finals to 48 teams from the current 32, Reuters reported Monday.

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