Football governing body FIFA has confirmed it won’t be expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams.
FIFA was set to add the number of participating teams in the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams ahead of 2022 tournament. However, the governing body on Wednesday announced that it won’t be pushing through with the idea.
A statement from the FIFA read, "In line with the conclusions of the feasibility study approved by the FIFA Council at its last meeting, FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
"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.
"Additionally, FIFA and Qatar have once again explored the feasibility of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament by in particular lowering certain key FIFA requirements. A joint analysis, in this respect, concluded that due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June. It was, therefore, decided not to further pursue this option.”
"The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June."
The addition of teams from 32 to 48 would require at least one more country being used in the Persian Gulf to accommodate an additional 16 matches in the region.