The 58-year-old UEFA president made the remarks after FIFA boss Sepp Blatter put forth the idea that more countries from Asia and Africa should have the right to qualify at the expense of reduced competition from Europe.
"Instead of taking away some European nations, we have to go to 40 teams in the World Cup. We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American and one from Europe. I support this idea totally." The former French international midfielder added, "Football is changing and now we have 209 associations. There are more countries so why reduce? Forty is not so bad. You have three days more of competition and you make more people happy."
Qualification for the 2014 World Cup stands at 32 teams; 13 from Europe, 5 African nations, 4 Asian, 4 South American and 3 from North, Central America and the Caribbean. Brazil automatically qualifies as hosts, while one from North, Central America and the Caribbean plays off against the Oceania winner, and there is also playoffs between an Asian and South American nation.
The very first World Cup, held in 1930, consisted of just 13 nations, which grew to 16 by 1934, 24 in 1982, and 32 in 1998. It is thought that Platini's idea would play out as eight groups of four.
The World Cup of 2014 will be held in Brazil from 12 June to the final on 13 July at the world famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. 21 nations have already qualified; Brazil (hosts), Japan, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Netherlands, Italy, Costa Rica, United States, Argentina, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Colombia, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Spain, Chile, Ecuador and Honduras. There are 5 African playoffs remaining and 4 European, while Jordan face Uruguay and Mexico play New Zealand for the right to participate.