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Gulf neighbor countries could co-host 48-team FIFA world cup 2022

FIFA President Gianna Infantino has said that next football world cup can be hosted by multiple nations in the middle-east region. In a sports conference on Wednesday in Dubai, FIFA boss mentioned that expanding 2022 world cup to 48-teams would be beneficial to the entire world and if it happens, we could witness tournament would be hosted by two or more countries apart from Qatar.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino photo by sportsmirchi
FIFA President Gianni Infantino

As per report published by reuters, Infantino admitted that there are tensions among the countries in gulf region but leaders must come forward and think beyond to bring and host football’s flagship event if tournament governing body and hosting nation Qatar agrees.

“If we can accommodate some of the neighboring countries in the Gulf region which are very close by to host a few games in the World Cup this could be very beneficial for the region and the entire world. There are tensions in this particular region and it’s up to their respective leaders to deal with that but maybe it’s easier to talk about a joint football project than more complicated things,” Infantino quoted.

The story behind these countries (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt) to break down relations with Qatar is that hosting nation “supports terror groups”. However leaders of these countries must think beyond such activities to promote world cup and make possible a 48-team championship.

Gianna Infantino has been favoring to add 16 more teams to 2022 world cup since announcing 48-team 2026 world cup in USA, Mexico and Canada. 2002 world cup was the only tournament till date which was hosted by two or more nations Japan and Korea. 2026 is already awarded to be co-hosted by three nations. And if 2022 is also awarded, it will be interesting to see which countries will host it.

“If you think it’s a good thing to have 48 teams in the World Cup, why not try four years before, that’s why we are analysing whether its possible to have 48 teams already in 2022. The World Cup will take place in Qatar with 32 teams. Obviously, if we can increase it to 48 teams and make the world happy we should try it,” Infantino said in conference.

International football governing body FIFA will take decision on expansion of tournament in March.

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