Africa will have the opportunity of getting two more slots in the 2026 World Cup.
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino gave the assurance in Abuja yesterday at a World Press Conference to mark the end of his two-day working visit to Nigeria.
“Our interest is more in football development and during my campaign to become the president I promised to introduce some reforms which included that unlike in the past that the Secretary General will not come from Europe and today we have Secretary General from Africa.
“Also you all know that before our election, the issue of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup editions had been settled but we will ensure that by 2026 we increase the number of participating countries to 40 and Africa is expected to get two more slots.”
Similarly, Infantino also promised that very soon the issue of funding of federations will be much more easier in line with the aspirations of his executive committee.
To this effect, he revealed that the yearly FIFA grants will increase from about $400,000 dollars to between $1.2million and 1.5million dollars to each member association.
“The reforms we are running are transparent and I want to assure that now FIFA has become more accountable in our actions. Today we have 18 national associations that have come here to discuss with us on how we can together reform football and this shows we are on the right track.”
The FIFA President who was accompanied on the visit by the Secretary General, Ms Fatma Samoura also paid a courtesy visit on President Mohammadu Buhari as well as the Senate President Bukola Saraki.