CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez delivers a speech at the 68th Ordinary CONMEBOL Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS/Martin Acosta

BUENOS AIRES - South America's football confederation CONMEBOL has urged FIFA to bring forward the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026 to the 2022 event in Qatar.

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said it was a "very interesting idea," after CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez put the suggestion to him at a meeting of the confederation in Buenos Aires.

All ten CONMEBOL members support the move, Dominguez said, according to a tweet from the confederation.

Infantino later told reporters he was open to the idea, but that its feasibility would have to be examined and that it was not a decision that the FIFA president or CONMEBOL could make alone.

FIFA decided in January 2017 to expand the World Cup from 32 teams to 48 from the 2026 event onwards.

The move triggered criticism from European clubs, which argued that it would increase the number of games played by national players to unacceptable levels.

Bringing the plan forward by four years could present organizational difficulties for hosts Qatar, as it would increase the number of games from 64 to 80.

The tournament has already been shortened to 28 days after it was moved to November-December to avoid the heat of summer.


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