FIFA President Gianni Infantino said he hopes a compromise will be found as they look to decide on how many teams from different continents compete at the expanded World Cup in 2026 ©Getty Images

FIFA President Gianni Infantino claims he is hopeful a "good compromise and consensus" can be reached concerning the allocation of places at the expanded 48-team World Cup between the Confederations which make up the governing body.

Infantino, speaking here following the conclusion of a FIFA Executive Football Summit meeting, said discussions regarding the distribution of the additional 16 spots were ongoing.

Each of the six Confederations are likely to have their own demands on how many berths they are given when FIFA's flagship competition grows from 32 to 48 nations from the 2026 edition onwards.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin demanded last month that the European body receive "at least" 16 places, while Asian Football Confederation (AFC) counterpart Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa warned in an interview with Agence France-Presse yesterday that he wants a "significant increase" for his continent.

The AFC are expected to have nine berths, up from 4.5, while South America could also increase from 4.5 to six.

Under the current proposals for 2026, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) would have 6.5 compared with their current 3.5, while Oceania would have one automatic place at the competition rather than 0.5.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) are also looking to double the amount of spots they have at the 2018 and 2022 tournaments from five to 10.

"There are discussions ongoing now within the Confederations and between Confederations," said Infantino.

"There are different ways of seeing this – some are saying it should be purely on sporting merits, others are saying it should be purely on participation and percentage of members and so on.

"You can see it in many different ways, of course.

"There are requests from many of them and I hope we can find a good compromise and a good consensus.

"It should be possible that everyone has a little more than they have now so at the end everyone should be happier than now."

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was speaking after an Executive Football Summit in London ©Getty Images
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was speaking after an Executive Football Summit in London ©Getty Images

The expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 nations was officially approved by FIFA’s ruling Council during a meeting in Zurich in January.

Under the new format, the 48 teams would be split into 16 groups of three, with the top two progressing to the 32-nation knockout round.

It sparked concerns that teams playing in the final group matches could collude to get the right result to ensure they reach the next phase.

This was the case at the 1982 World Cup in Spain where Germany and Austria knew a win for the former by one or two goals would be enough for both sides to progress at the expense of Algeria.

Nicknamed the "Disgrace of Gijón", the match saw Germany take the lead 10 minutes in before neither side attempted to find another goal.

Very few attempts were recorded, with the teams opting to spend large amounts of time playing the ball around the defence, and it led to FIFA ordering the last group matches at all future editions be played simultaneously.

Infantino admitted they needed to "tackle the suspicion" around the issue but claimed the three-team group structure would make every game at the expanded tournament "important".

"There are different ways to tackle this and we have not yet but we need to tackle the suspicion," the Swiss-Italian, elected as FIFA President in February 2016, added.

"We have to make sure we clarify this well in advance of the competition.

"You could simply say in case of equal number of points that world ranking prevails so that the team knows that if I want to draw, then I will be out, so I have to win.

"Questions about penalties have been put on the table but the most important point there is every match will be important.

"This is different compared to the groups of four; every match will be important because the group winners will play the group runners up in the next knockout stage, therefore it is important to win each match in order to be sure that you are winners rather than runners up so you can have an easier match in the next round.

"In a group of four, if you win the first two matches you are already qualified. 

"You field a reserve team in the third match and this can have an effect on the other teams in the group as well.

"You can find pros and cons with every format."