FIFA ABANDONES WORLD CUP 2022 EXPANSION PLANS
Football governing body FIFA have abandoned plans to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams.
The decision to abandon the plans were made after a thorough and comprehensive consultation process according to Fifa, who added that the change could not be made now.
The possibility of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament on its own was explored according to Fifa who eventually decided to dump plans as there was not enough time for a “detailed assesment of the potential logistical impact”.
Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin had said in November that the idea of adding 16 teams to Qatar 2022 could create “many problems” but described it as “quite realistic”.
Gianni Infantino, Fifa’s President, last year said the expansion from 32 teams to 64 teams could be brought forward to the 2022 tournament in Qatar as against the earlier proposed date of 2026, a change that would have seen hosting rights shared with other countries in the region by Qatar.
Qatar World Cup organisers in a statement said, “Qatar had always been open to the idea of an expanded tournament in 2022 had a viable operating model been found and all parties concluded that an expanded 48-team edition was in the best interest of football and Qatar as the host nation”.