Gianni Infantino fires back at Joachim Loew over World Cup criticism

Joachim Loew had criticised Gianni Infantino's plans to increase the amount of teams and said it would dilute the quality of the tournament.

By: Reuters | Zurich | Published:October 14, 2016 11:52 pm
Gianni Infantino, Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, Joachim Loew, Loew, Germany coach, FIFA, World Cup, Football news, Football FIFA council is yet to approve Gianni Infantino’s idea of increasing the number of teams. (Source: Reuters)

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said Joachim Loew needs to be more open to helping football’s development after the Germany coach criticised plans to expand the World Cup.

Loew, whose Germany side won the 2014 World Cup, has criticised Infantino’s plans to increase the amount of teams from 32 to 40 or 48 and said it would dilute the quality of the tournament.

“It’s easy for the world champions to have an opinion about the World Cup,” Infantino told reporters on Friday.

“What can I say to him? That he must be open to renewal, for football, for football development.

“Not everyone has the chance to qualify for the World Cup every time like Germany do.”

The FIFA council is studying proposals for the format and size of the 2026 World Cup.

These range from keeping the current 32-team competition, to a 48-team tournament put forward by Infantino last week. The council is due to make a decision by Jan. 10.