FIFA Scraps Plans for 48-Team World Cup in 2022 in Qatar
FIFA has suspended it’s action on expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams, football’s world governing body announced on Wednesday.
FIFA had been exploring if logistical and political complexities could be overcome to expand the tournament from 32 to 48 teams, which would have required at least one more country being used in the Persian Gulf to accommodate an additional 16 matches in the region.
A FIFA internal report had already concluded that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia could not join as co-hosts unless they restore the economic and travel ties with Qatar that were severed two years ago.
That means the World Cup will not be expanded until 2026, with FIFA already having approved a format with 48 teams for that tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The regional diplomatic crisis left neutral Kuwait and Oman as the viable options. Oman has said it isn’t keen on hosting games at the FIFA showpiece. Infantino visited Kuwait last month in an attempt to persuade them to host matches in 2022.
But FIFA has now concluded that it lacked to the time to prepare a country to host the extra games.
Prior to this development,32 teams will participate in the FIFA World Cup to hold in Qatar on the 21st of November – 18th of December,2022.