The final decision on 48-team 2022 World Cup set to be taken in June, says FIFA
There have been talks in recent times of expanding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 teams.
World football body FIFA’s bosses will decide today whether to back the expansion plan, but a final decision regarding it will only be taken at a meeting in Paris in June, said sources, according to Gulf Times.
The FIFA Council meeting, in Miami today, will give its verdict on an internal feasibility study on increasing the number of teams at the 2022 tournament.
However, the final vote on increasing the number of teams would only be taken at a full Congress meeting of football’s global governing body on June 6.
Any declaration of support by FIFA’s Council today would also acknowledge that expansion in 2022 can only take place if one or more countries on Qatar’s borders can host games, said a report in Sports Star.
FIFA’s feasibility study into an expanded World Cup in 2022 said Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were potential options to host games in three years.
But Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would only be candidates if their governments ended a diplomatic blockade of Qatar launched in 2017, the study said.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino is an enthusiastic supporter of the expansion of the 2022 tournament, bringing forward an increase in the number of teams which had initially been planned for the 2026 finals staged in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The increase in teams will see the tournament feature 80 matches instead of the 64 used in a traditional 32-team World Cup.