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FIFA abandons plan to expand World cup to 48 teams

FIFA has abandoned its plan to expand the Qatar 2022 World cup to 48 teams.

In 2018, the world’s football governing body president Gianni Infantino said that expanding the global tournament from 32 teams could be introduced as early as 2022 in Qatar rather than waiting for 2026.

This change would, however, have required the hosts to share hosting duties with other neighbouring countries in the region.

FIFA says following a “thorough and comprehensive consultation process” it wasn’t possible for the changes to “be made now”.

According to a statement, the 2022 World Cup organisers noted that: “Qatar had always been open to the idea of an expanded tournament in 2022 had a viable operating model been found and had all parties concluded that an expanded 48-team edition was in the best interest of football and Qatar as the host nation.

“With just three and a half years to go until kick off, Qatar remains as committed as ever to ensuring the 32-team Fifa World Cup in 2022 is one of the best tournaments ever and one that makes the entire Arab world proud.”

In November, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had warned that increasing the Qatar 2022 by 16 teams could create “many problems”, saying the plan was “quite unrealistic”.

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