Africa & Asia May Not Be Favoured By Platini’s Suggestion Of Expansion

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UEFA chief Michel Platini wants the World Cup finals expanded to 40 teams from 2018 to allow more African and Asian countries into the tournament without reducing the number of European nations represented.

Platini believes the World Cup could expand in the coming years but his views are pro-Europe

UEFA chief Michel Platini wants the World Cup finals expanded to 40 teams from 2018 to allow more African and Asian countries into the tournament without reducing the number of European nations represented.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter wrote last week that Africa and Asia deserved more representation at soccer?s showpiece event because they had more member associations than Europe and South America.

Platini, who is fiercely pro-Europe in his plans, believes FIFA should consider expanding the World Cup with greater representation from outside of Europe the key focus.

Africa and Asia currently have 5 and 4.5 spots available at the World Cup even though they provide the biggest FIFA confederations.

Europe currently provides 13 of the 32 teams at the finals, compared with five from Africa and four or five, depending on the winners of a playoff against a South American team, for the most populous continent Asia.

Former France international Platini, widely regarded as the most likely to contest Swiss Blatter in the FIFA job, said by his own calculations that adding eight more teams would require extending the tournament by only three days.

?It?s good for everybody,? Platini told Britain?s Times newspaper in an interview.

?I totally agree with Mr Blatter that we need more African and Asian (teams). But instead of taking away some European, we have to go to 40 teams.

?We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American, one Oceania and one from Europe.?

European and South American countries have won all 19 versions of the World Cup.

On the face it Africa and Asia would benefit most from Platini?s proposal but further look into shows that Europe will gain more as they will still have one more country in he proposed format which will still make them stronger in number yet they are among the smallest confederations.

This is unlikely to win votes for Platini as the key votes for FIFA elections are decided by Africa and Asia who have the biggest numbers.

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