FIFA shelves plan to expand 2022 World Cup to 48 teams
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- FIFA, Football’s global governing body, has abandoned plans to expand the 2022 Qatar World Cup to 48 nations and decided to stick with 32 countries.
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.
"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," FIFA said in a statement.
"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 football governing body said.
A FIFA internal report had already concluded the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia could not join as cohosts unless they restore the economic and travel ties with Qatar that were severed two years ago.