Sunday 16 June 2019

World Cup in Qatar to stay at 32 teams as FIFA row back on plans for expanded tournament in 2022

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (Nick Potts/PA)
FIFA president Gianni Infantino (Nick Potts/PA)

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a 32-team tournament as originally planned, FIFA has announced.

The World Cup is due to become a 48-team tournament in 2026 when it is hosted jointly by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

FIFA carried out studies to determine whether it would be feasible to increase participation in Qatar in three years' time but it was not logistically possible.

The statement read: "FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries. Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process... it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now."

It added that there was also not enough time for Qatar itself to assess the potential impact of hosting an expanded tournament.

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