Infantino has outlined plans for Fifa to take “full control of all money flows” in a 70-page document entitled ‘Fifa 2.0: The Vision for the Future’. Through the document, Fifa has pledged to change the current model to take more direct control of critical business operations, including World Cup ticketing and organising activities.
Fifa will establish working groups to evaluate the process of bringing the operations in house to “better ensure optimal financial returns and customer satisfaction.”
Infantino said: “It has nothing to do with trust; it is just to do with efficiency. It's simply about being professional."
Significant changes to the World Cup itself are already being considered and Fifa will decide in January whether the 2026 tournament will expand from its 32-team format, with the preferred options being an expansion up to either 40 or 48 teams. A total of 10 different format scenarios are reportedly under consideration.
“There is a positive feeling around the council but the details are still to be elaborated, whether it's 40 teams, eight groups of five or 10 groups of four, or 48 teams with a playoff at the start,”
Infantino told reporters. “This is still very much a work in progress.”
The World Cup was expanded to 32 teams in 1998, but there are concerns that further expansion could bring weaker teams into the tournament, reducing the spectacle as a result. “I don't agree with diluting the quality,” Infantino added.
“I would like to remind everyone that in the last World Cup, Italy and England were eliminated by Costa Rica.”
The ‘Fifa 2.0’ document contains other pledges, such as Fifa investing $4bn over the next decade in football development programs through the Fifa Forward Program and additional funding initiatives.
The roadmap also outlines the goal of increasing total participation in football – players coaches, referees and fans – from 45 per cent to 60 per cent of the global population, and doubling the number of female football players worldwide to 60 million by 2026.
In other news, it has been confirmed that long-serving marketing director Thierry Weil has left Fifa. “Thierry Weil decided to pursue his career elsewhere after nine successful years at Fifa,” a spokesman for Fifa said.