FIFA scrap plans to expand the Qatar World Cup to 48 countries


FIFA has abandoned the idea of increasing the amount of countries competing in the Qatar World Cup to 48, sticking with the current 32-team format. 

The initial plan was proposed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who had been exploring the logistical challenges a further 16 teams in the tournament would have. The change would have required Qatar to share hosting duties with other countries in the region.

However, after looking at the possibilities, FIFA say there is inadequate time “for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.”

In a statement, the Qatari World Cup organisers said: 

“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.”

The 2026 World Cup which is set to be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, is anticipated to have 48 teams in the competition with planning already in place to sought the logistical challenges that come with an increased number of countries competing in the global tournament.

FIFA also stated the impracticality of a 48-team World Cup in 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.

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.”


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

Comments are closed.