FIFA President Gianni Infantino has announced plans to present a possible restructure of the World Cup during 2017.
Under the proposal, the competition would be expanded to 48 teams and split into two stages in order to accommodate the high number of participating nations.
During his campaign to become the FIFA president last year Infantino claimed he wanted to expand the tournament to 40 teams, but now he plans to extend that even further.
“The idea is that 16 teams would qualify directly to the group stage and the other 32 would play in a preliminary phase, in the country where the World Cup is being played – they would play for the remaining 16 places,” Infantino said during a presentation at Sergio Arboleda University in Bogata.
“It means we continue with a normal World Cup for 32 teams, but 48 teams go to the party.
“FIFA’s idea is to develop football in the whole world, and the World Cup is the biggest event there is. It’s more than a competition, it’s a social event.
“These are ideas to find the best solution, we will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017.
“They are ideas which we put forward to see which one is the best.”