Ahead of February's presidential vote, candidate Gianni Infantino has pledged a 40-team World Cup and greater transparency within FIFA.
Gianni Infantino has revealed his 11-point manifesto ahead of this year’s FIFA presidential election, in which he pledges to increase the number of teams at a World Cup to 40 and improve transparency throughout the organisation.
Infantino is one of five candidates standing to succeed Sepp Blatter at the end of a turbulent period for football’s governing body, with Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, Jerome Champagne, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale also hoping to win over each of the voting members.
In his effort to lobby support, the Italian has highlighted the need for FIFA to remain democratic while instilling new checks and balances to prevent corruption and embracing the diversity of its membership.
A statement on Infantino’s website read: "Gianni’s key objective is to put football back to the centre of what FIFA does. Gianni’s vision is based on 3 key pillars – reform; democracy and participation and football development – and informed by 20 years of experience and discussions with football people across the world."
Within a section headlined "reform and good governance", Infantino pledges to "create a new FIFA council with increased representation to replace the FIFA Executive Committee", as well as clearly differentiating between the "sports-political and day-to-day executive roles" of the organisation’s various elements.
Following the recent revelations about voting procedures for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Infantino has also pledged to an accountable bidding process, claiming that he will make public the details of "payments to elected FIFA members and top management, as well as a clear and transparent bidding procedure for the FIFA World Cup."
In the second section of his manifesto, marked "democracy and participation", Infantino reveals his intentions to give all member associations the opportunity to influence FIFA policy by proposing the motto: "1 Member Association = 2 Voices: 1 Voice to Vote and 1 Voice to Speak Out."
In the third and final section, titled "football development", Infantino suggests "tailor-made projects fitting the specific need of each Member Association" and lays down plans to hold an open debate on the future of technology within the sport.
Finally, Infantino advocates increasing the number of sides at a World Cup from 32 to 40 "for greater worldwide representation".
The FIFA presidential election is due to take place in Zurich on February 26.