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FIFA scrapes plan to expand 2022 World Cup to 48 teams

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 neighboring 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.

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.

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposals will be submitted at the next FIFA congress on June 5, 2019. 

The FIFA Council held its ninth meeting today in Miami, where the members of FIFA’s strategic and decision making body voted on a number of agenda items that will shape the future of international competitions, chief of which was the introduction of a revamped, 24 team FIFA club World Cup.

The FIFA Council discussed a number of pending issues regarding other upcoming FIFA competitions, having decided on the implementation of the VAR system at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, following what The International Football Association Board acknowledged as a resounding success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The regulations for France 2019 have been amended accordingly.

After being presented with a thorough feasibility study on the increase of the number of teams from 32 to 48 at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the FIFA Council acknowledged the study’s conclusion that expanding the tournament to 48 teams was feasible, provided that neighboring countries hosted some matches (with Qatar as the main host country).

Brazil and India have been chosen as hosts for upcoming youth tournaments.