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Fam welcomes World Cup expansion

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, has welcomed the expansion of the Fifa World Cup finals from 32 to 48 teams.

But Nyamilandu hopes that the expansion will also lead to an increase in the slots for the continent.

“There are times when we have ended in a group as number two and we could not qualify because it was only top teams in each group qualifying,” he said yesterday.

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“It does make our dream of qualifying for the World Cup finals a reality. We welcome the decision.”

Malawi has never qualified for the World Cup finals. In Southern Africa, it is only Angola and South Africa who have graced the world’s biggest football event.

Fifa Congress agreed to increase the number of teams after a vote at the Fifa Council in Zurich yesterday, in line with the vision of new President Gianni Infantino.

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The enlarged format will yield 16 groups of three countries, with the top two advancing to the knock-out rounds of the global showpiece.

The amount of games will rise from 64 to 80, but the eventual winners will still play seven times over the course of the 32-day event.

The last time the competition expanded was in 1998.

From a total number of 54 countries in Africa, only five countries qualify for the Fifa World Cup.

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