Gianni Infantino’s plan to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has been given short shrift by his Uefa counterpart, Aleksander Ceferin.
European clubs and leagues have already expressed their opposition to the mooted expansion to 48 teams, but now Uefa says it has heard nothing concrete from FIFA and therefore cannot support any proposed changes.
Last week, Fifa suggested a preferred 48-team format of groups of three teams in a letter to Fifa Council members ahead of their January 9-10 meeting in Zurich
Ceferin, though, says he is unhappy with the cavalier manner in which Infantino appears to be pushing through plans to expand the tournament from 2026.
“I read different ideas every day, so it is hard to say which one is the real one, if any,” Ceferin said.
Ceferin said the lack of clarity over how FIFA proposes to allocate additional slots to the confederations was at the heart of the problem.
“When FIFA presents us some serious thing and not just articles and interviews then we can, of course, answer concretely,” said Ceferin, who said he could not commit at present to the expansion plan.
Asked if UEFA would back an expanded tournament, Ceferin, aware of the strong opposition to the idea from within Europe, said: “I am not sure we are getting that way.
“We don’t have much information from FIFA, we mainly read from newspapers about what is supposed to go on… “
Ceferin said he was hopeful UEFA would get more information about the proposed increase when the presidents of the continental confederations meet in Tokyo later this month.
He said: “We asked in October for an appropriate analysis to show what it means to extend the World Cup and FIFA didn’t produce it… so without proper information, we can’t say that we will be interested in that kind of World Cup.”