FIFA abandons plans to expand 2022 Qatar World Cup to 48 teams


FIFA have scrapped plans to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams, after the association decided to stick with 32 countries because of political and logistical complexities.


FIFA stated that “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."


The association then added that: “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."

FIFA's president, Gianni Infantino, was reportedly one of the major driving forces to increase the size of the world's biggest sporting event, yet he has now accepted that it would be too difficult to do so in Qatar due to political stipulations.


However, FIFA stated that the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, will consist of 48 teams, with them being spread out across 16 groups of three teams.