German football chief speaks out against enlarging World Cup

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany’s football president is against enlarging the World Cup.

Reinhard Grindel says in an interview published on the federation’s website that FIFA proposals to enlarge the tournament from 32 teams to 40 or 48 “have considerable weaknesses that are also clearly shown in FIFA factsheets.”

Grindel says, “At the DFB, we’re fundamentally convinced that the tried and tested model of 32 participating nations should be held. The world championships were always tournaments that inspired, why should that change?”

The DFB president warns that the quality of the tournament could suffer in soccer’s core markets if more participants are added, and that conflicts could emerge between national teams and clubs “if we overburden the players.”