Fifa president Gianni Infantino wants to expand the World Cup to a 48-team format. In his original election manifesto, Infantino proposed expanding the competition from 32 to 40 teams but now has visions of an even bigger competition.

The Italian has proposed that 16 seeded teams will go through to the group stages of the competition automatically, with the remaining 32 sides taking part in a one-off knockout round, which the winners joining the seeded sides in the group stage. The 16 losing sides would then go home after just one match.

"These are ideas to find the best solution, we will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017," said Infantino, who succeeded Sepp Blatter as Fifa president in February.

He continued: "It means we continue with a normal World Cup for 32 teams, but 48 teams go to the party. Fifa's idea is to develop football in the whole world, and the World Cup is the biggest event there is. It is more than a competition, it is a social event."

Expansions proposals will raise concerns of the quality of World Cup competition being diluted. The European Championships faced similar fears when Uefa decided to expand the competition from 16 to 24 teams last summer in France.