Football’s biggest governing council FIFA has dropped the plans of expanding 2022 world cup to 48 teams as on Wednesday, governing body confirmed that 32 national teams will be competing in the next soccer world cup. FIFA and Qatar jointly made decision not to expand world cup to add 16 more countries for the main event.
It is already confirmed that 48-teams FIFA World Cup will be played in 2026 in United States, Mexico and Canada jointly. There were reports that FIFA was in contact with other Gulf countries to hold few matches of FWC22 but no other nation was ready enough to host the iconic event.
“FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June,” FIFA said in a release.
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“FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. 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.”
Qatar world cup organizers have also mentioned that country was in favor to expand the competition.
“Qatar had always been open to the idea of an expanded tournament in 2022 had a viable operating model been found and had all parties concluded that an expanded 48-team edition was in the best interest of football and Qatar as the host nation. With just three and a half years to go until kick off, Qatar remains as committed as ever to ensuring the 32-team Fifa World Cup in 2022 is one of the best tournaments ever and one that makes the entire Arab world proud.”
Kuwait, Oman were best possible options for FIFA to organize remaining 16 games of 2022 world cup if it is extended to 48 nations. FIFA President Infantino was too optimistic for making middle-east football world cup to be first to host 48 nations. For this, he visited Oman and Kuwait in past few months but things didn’t work.
Hence the 2022 FIFA world cup will be played with 32-teams and same the format as it’s used in 2018 world cup Russia. France will be title defenders at Qatar 2022.