He had previously suggested that the World Cup be expanded from 32
to 40 teams -- a position shared by other candidates -- but he also has called for the World Cup to be hosted on a regional basis like Euro 2020 will be.
The 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea is the only time the event has been co-hosted, a decision FIFA made to end the political fight between the competing bid nations. There have been co-hosts for the European Championship.
''FIFA should investigate the possibility of organizing the World Cup not only in one or two countries but in a whole region, so enabling several countries to enjoy the honor and benefits of hosting the World Cup,'' the Infantino manifesto says.
A regional tournament -- for example, a tournament co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada -- would solve some of the problems of regional rivals fighting between themselves for the right to host the tournament.
It would expand the opportunities for countries in Africa and South America to share hosting duties -- countries who'd be unable to handle the entire load of offering 8-10 stadiums on their own.
As it stands, the United States is considered the only country outside of Europe that has enough modern stadiums to handle the World Cup and is currently eligible to bid for the next World Cup up for grabs, the 2026 finals. (Asian countries are prohibited from bidding since Qatar will host the tournament in 2022.)
The 45-year-old Infantino, whose background is as a lawyer, also wants to give out a greater share of FIFA's moneys. He cautioned a "proper risk analysis must be conducted'' -- FIFA has reserves of $1.5 billion, in large part because it self-insures -- before giving money -- within four-year cycles -- to FIFA's 209 federations and six confederations.
The Swiss-Italian's plan calls for each federation to be offered $5 million for development projects and ongoing programs and another $1 million for travel expenses and each confederation to receive $40 million for development projects, plus up to $4 million for assistance in organizing age-group tournaments.
Infantino emerged as the accidental candidate -- “We made a draw and my name came out,” he joked in October -- when his candidacy was announced.
Infantino was first
considered a backup candidate in case Michel Platini, the UEFA president, could not run. Indeed, Platini, banned for eight years by FIFA's ethics committee, pulled out of the race to
concentrate on his appeal of the ban for violating FIFA's ethics rules in connection with a payment of $2 million from FIFA in 2011.
Infantino is considered the most serious rival to Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, who has emerged as the favorite. The other candidates are Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, South African Tokyo Sexwale and Frenchman Jerome Champagne.