FIFA drops plans to expand 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 teams

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The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a 32-team tournament as originally planned, FIFA has announced. The world governing body had considered expanding the event to 48 teams – as is planned for the tournament from 2026 – but this has proved impractical. With the event just three years away, Qatari organisers did not feel there was enough time to carry out studies on the logistical impact of an expanded competition. The desert state has been preparing for a 32-team tournament, with eight stadia, since 2010. Feasibility studies involving neighbouring countries were also carried out but no solutions were found. “The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams,” a statement read. Qatar is preparing eight stadia for the 2022 tournament (PA) The 2026 tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be the first World Cup for 48 finalists. The statement added: “FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries. Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process… 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.” Topics FIFA, Qatar, FIFA World Cup Qatar set for November-December World Cup EPFL critical of task force proposal for 2022 FIFA task force receive CAF backing over 2022 Qatar controversy fuels calls for FIFA change Prospective Bolton buyers must show £25million proof of funds Bury players urge owner Steve Dale to walk away from club Inverness claim Dundee made ‘unsolicited’ approach for manager Robertson Tottenham star ‘will be a Real Madrid player’ after the Champions League final – report Arsenal overtake Real Madrid in race for £20m-rated Argentine – report 7 new rule changes are coming to the Premier League – but are they good or bad? Manchester United 1998/99: still England’s greatest side Ranked! The 8 best captains in Premier League history Manchester United told to pay £50m if they want to sign Premier League rivals’ youngster Tottenham star ‘will be a Real Madrid player’ after the Champions League final – report

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