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Federation Internationale de Football Association says 48-team tournament 'feasible'

16 March 2019

"We are delighted to announce that India has been confirmed as the host of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2020", Infantino said after the FIFA Council meeting in Miami, USA. "If the calendar is not modified, of course we can not agree".

'We hope that all the best teams will participate and we've had some very positive discussions with UEFA'.

"We all know the situation in the region, but we are in a lucky position in football that we only have to care about football", Infantino said. "If it doesn't happen, fantastic also", said Infantino.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates are all potential options yet rancorous diplomatic disputes has led to the tiny Gulf state being politically isolated from many of its former allies.

"We came to conclusion, yes it's feasible to move from 32 to 48 teams at the World Cup provided certain conditions are met".

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said he was "extremely happy" after the Fifa Council backed his plan on Friday. "So we'll move to the next stage and look at who could host these games, and then congress can take the final decision".

European clubs have publicly resisted FIFA's bid to replace the current seven-team annual Club World Cup, which is played annually in December, with an expanded quadrennial version in June-July. "This is important today because club football is evolving, is moving at a different pace in different parts of the world and it's our duty, our responsibility to make sure that we encourage professional club football all over the world".

The announcement comes in the face of considerable opposition from European clubs.

The letter, sections of which were published in the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung says they are "firmly against any approval of a revised Club World Cup at this point in time and confirm that no ECA clubs would take part to such a competition".

The ECA says a decision on potential new competitions can only be made as part of an agreed framework for the global match calendar post-2024.

And now a letter to UEFA and Infantino from the European Club Association (ECA) head Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Italian side Juventus, has emerged, delivering another blow to his proposals to transform the game. The top three teams from the AFC Under-16 Championship qualify for the Under-17 Women's World Cup.

Infantino also provided an update on organization of the upcoming Women's World Cup, saying that the preparations were going well.

Federation Internationale de Football Association says 48-team tournament 'feasible'