Monday Kickoff: Platini wants World Cup expansion; Totti ruled out one month; and more

Monday Kickoff: Platini wants World Cup expansion; Totti ruled out one month; and more

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Monday Kickoff: Platini wants World Cup expansion; Totti ruled out one month; and more

MichelPlatiniUEFA1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

If Michel Platini has his way, there could be expansion in the future of the FIFA World Cup.

The UEFA president, in an interview with The Times of London, stated that he believes the World Cup should expand from the current 32 nations to 40, and that it would only add three days to the already 31-day-long quadrennial tournament. Platini’s comments follow on the back of FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s comments last week, in which he called for a reduction in European teams at the World Cup with more representation from Africa and Asia.

“I totally agree with Mr Blatter that we need more African and Asian [countries],” Platini told The Times. “But instead of taking away some European, we have to go to 40 teams. We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American, one Oceania and one from Europe.

“Football is changing and we now we have 209 associations. There are more countries so why reduce? You have three days more of competition and you make more people happy.”

The World Cup last expanded to it’s current 32 in 1998 and before that, the tournament expanded to 24 from 16 nations in 1982.

Here are some more stories to start your week:

TOTTI RULED OUT FOR ONE MONTH

AS Roma have been handed a huge blow in their quest to win Serie A this season.

Although Rudi Garcia’s side triumphed at Udinese on Sunday thanks to a Michael Bradley goal, Roma learned that their captain and star Francesco Totti will miss the next month with a hamstring injury. Originally Totti was ruled out for 7-10 days but now it looks like the club are hoping he’ll be able to return on November 25, against Cagliari.

Roma have started the season with nine straight wins, a record in Serie A for starting the season. Totti has played a huge role in the side this season despite being 37-years old, scoring three goals and six assists in the team’s first eight games.

QUICK KICKS

The German sporting court has ruled that Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-1 win vs. Hoffenheim on October 18 won’t be replayed, despite Leverkusen’s Stefan Kießling having a goal allowed even though it went through the side netting. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid midfielder Óliver Torres needed just 13 seconds to score Atleti’s opener on Sunday, setting the record for the fastest goal in club history. (REPORT)

Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry has signed a “long-term contract” with the club. (REPORT)

Sporting Lisbon’s brilliant start to the season was put to an end by FC Porto with a 3-1 scoreline. (REPORT)

West Ham United winger Ricardo Vaz Te has suffered a dislocated shoulder and will miss the next two months. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see the World Cup expanding? How much of a loss is Totti for Roma? Do you feel that the “Phantom Goal” game should be replayed?

Share your thoughts below.

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