Fifa drop idea of 48 teams for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
Tournament will expand to 48 teams in 2026 when hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place with 32 teams, FIFA has announced. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a 32-team tournament as originally planned, Fifa has announced.
The world governing body had considered expanding its showpiece event to 48 teams but has now determined this is not practical.
“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally planned with 32 teams,” a statement read.
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.