World Cup expansion will hurt quality - Germany boss Joachim Low

Germany head coach Joachim Low has warned against expanding the World Cup to 40 teams, saying it will "dilute the sporting value" of the tournament.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said on several occasions that he supports the idea of increasing the number of teams at the World Cup from 32 to 40 after the 2022 tournament and made the issue a central part of his successful election campaign.

Last month, Infantino said that he would bring his proposal to the table at the meeting of the FIFA Council on Oct. 13-14 in Zurich, and Low told Die Welt am Sonntag that he "understands absolutely" that the expansion would be beneficial "for the smaller nations who can make an impression on to the big football stage through it."

However, Low, who led Germany to success at the 2014 World Cup, said the "sporting and mental" burden on the players has already reached its limit and warned: "We have to be aware that in the long-run the quality will suffer. We should not overdo it.

"I don't think it's a good idea to dilute the sporting value [of the tournament]."

UEFA already expanded the European Championship from 16 to 24 teams for this summer's tournament, and Low had told ZDF after his side's semifinal defeat to hosts France in July that he felt it had been detrimental.

"I think 24 teams are too many," he said then. "Sometimes you get the feeling it's not doing football any good. The quality is suffering."

He was backed by Germany and Bayern centre-back Mats Hummels, who said: "The level at this European Championship was not what we had hoped for."