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Gianni Infantino's 40-team World Cup plan opposed by German officials

German football officials have said they do not back FIFA president Gianni Infantino's plans to expand the World Cup to 40 teams.

On Tuesday, newly elected FIFA president Infantino defended his plans to expand the World Cup from 32 teams to 40.

"It's not a secret that I believe in an increase of the teams for the World Cup, 40 teams," Infantino said in an interview, published on the official FIFA website.

"Eight more teams, but this means also more representation. 40 teams is only 19 percent of the FIFA memberships, so it's not that much.

"We give eight more countries, eight more teams a possibility to participate, but many more teams the possibility to dream about participating."

However, the new FIFA president is set to face heavy opposition from both the German league (DFL) and the German Football Association (DFB), with representatives making it clear this week they are against the idea.

"As a DFB representative I disagree with it, I don't sanction it," Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said at a podium discussion on Tuesday night. "It will just blow everything out of proportion even more. It's good like it is now."

Christian Seifert, the CEO of the German football league DFL, added: "I don't like the idea. Those decisions are always taken at the expense of the leagues. It's not good for the football culture all over the world. You should not forget that the World Cup stands and falls with the European leagues."

In an interview with sports weekly Sport Bild, acting DFB president Reinhard Rauball, who also presides the DFL, took a similar stance.

He said: "One thing is clear, DFB and the representatives of German football will not approve this decision. We have reached the line, you can't put more workload on the players."


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