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DFB president drops objections to expanded World Cup

December 14, 2016

The president of the DFB has said he is now prepared to a greatly expanded World Cup. However, Reinhard Grindel also reiterated concerns about the toll the already jammed football schedule was taking on the players.

Deutschland DFB PK Reinhard Grindel Untersuchungsbericht
Image: Getty Images/Bongarts/D. Grombkowski

DFB (German football association) President Reinhard Grindel said following a meeting with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura on Tuesday that he had dropped his opposition to a World Cup involving as many as 48 teams, as opposed to the current 32.

"I have made it clear that no additional burden must be placed on the players and the length of the tournament should not be extended," Grindel said.

Russland Fatma Samoura in Moskau
Fatma Samoura is FIFA's first female secretary generalImage: picture alliance/dpa/Y. Kochetkov

Pitching Gianni Infantino's plans for an expanded World Cup was the main purpose of Samoura's visit to the DFB headquarters in Frankfurt.

"This was the first thing we talked about," the Senegal native said. "We are doing a great deal to ensure the expansion of the World Cup participants is supported by the big footballing nations."

Samoura, who cited the expanded Euro 2016 in France last summer as a positive example, also said that she shared Grindel's concerns about increasing the number of games.

A decision on whether to increase the number of teams taking part in the World Cup - and by how many - is to be taken at the next meeting of the FIFA Council in Zurich next month.

pfd/sb (SID, dpa)