Discussions were in progress to expand the World Cup to 48 teams…

The Fifa Association announced in a statement on Wednesday May 22 that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played with 32 teams. Previously, discussions were in progress to make the Qatar World Cup a tournament of 48 teams. In order to expand the competition, Qatar would need to involve neighbouring countries, which could’ve included the UAE.

The release said, “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.”

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President of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, championed the project to expand the tournament to 48 teams. He previously said, “We came to conclusion, yes it’s feasible to move from 32 to 48 teams at the World Cup provided certain conditions are met. We have the duty to look into it, 90 per cent are in favour of an increase but it’s not as easy as that. We have to analyse matters carefully and we are working closely with Qatar.”

The release continued, “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.”

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Image: Getty