Thursday, 23 May 2019

World Cup: Fifa drops plans to expand Qatar 2022 to 48 teams

Fifa has scrapped a proposal to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 nations.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino who had been pushing to expand the tournament after the likes of Italy, Holland, United States, Chile and Cameroon did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, was keen to give more countries from the Persian Gulf the chance to participate.

Fifa has however concluded it lacks the time to prepare other countries in the Persian Gulf to become a co-hosts, in large part due to logistical and political issues in the region.

“Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now,” Fifa said in a release.

"The Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally planned with 32 teams."

The decision not to expand the tournament in Qatar means the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be the first 48-team event. 

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