Concise News reports that Qatar, which opened its second multi-purpose World Cup venue Al Janoub Stadium by hosting the Amir Cup final on May 16, is rapidly completing its preparation to host 32 teams for the 2022 edition.
The recent statement by FIFA means the 48-team concept will be officially launched at the 2026 World Cup to be jointly held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In a statement posted on www.fifa.com, FIFA says: “In line with the conclusions of the feasibility study approved by the FIFA Council at its last meeting, 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.”
The statement adds: “Additionally, FIFA and Qatar have once again explored the feasibility of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament by in particular lowering certain key FIFA requirements. A joint analysis, in this respect, concluded that 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.”
FIFA concludes the statement by saying: “The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June.”
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino is one man that really wanted Qatar to host a 48-team world cup, but a 48-team world cup has been deferred now.