Qatar commits to 32-team World Cup after FIFA drops expansion plans

Berlin - Qatar says it is committed to making the 2022 World Cup "one of the best tournaments ever" after plans to expand it from 32 to 48 teams were abandoned.

Neither the possibility of Qatar hosting an expanded 48-team tournament with other countries nor on its own will now be pursued, football world governing body FIFA said.
The project had been backed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who suggested it could help heal political differences.
The Qatar organizers said in a statement it had been open to an expanded tournament if there had been a "viable operating model" and "had all parties concluded that an expanded 48-team edition was in the best interest of football and Qatar as the host nation."
Qatar now "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," it added.
Infantino had said last year the expansion from 32 to 48 teams could be brought forward from 2026 for the 2022 tournament. But Qatar would likely have had to share hosting duties with other countries in the region.


Thursday, May 23rd 2019

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