FIFA chiefs to discuss 48-team 2022 World Cup on Friday

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FIFA chiefs to discuss 48-team 2022 World Cup on Friday

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SportsCafe Desk

03/15/2019

The FIFA Council meeting in Miami, on Friday, will give a verdict on the feasibility of increasing the number of teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48. The increase in teams will see the tournament feature 80 matches instead of 64 which was used in the 32-team World Cup.

Senior FIFA officials will make a final call on Friday whether to support an expansion of the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams today. However, a final decision will only be taken at a meeting in Paris in June. As per sources, the FIFA Council meeting in Miami on Friday will give its verdict on an internal feasibility study which supported increasing the number of teams at the 2022 tournament in Qatar from 32 to 48. However, a final vote on increasing the number of teams at the football showpiece would only be taken at a full Congress meeting of FIFA in June.

The International football Council on Friday stated that expansion in 2022 can only take place if one or more countries on Qatar's borders are able to host games. FIFA conducted a study that explored the possibility of an expanded World Cup in 2022 which revealed that Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates were potential options to host games in three years time.

However, the five middle-eastern nations would only be candidates if their governments ended a diplomatic blockade of Qatar which was launched in 2017. A final decision on whether to expand the 2022 World Cup would be taken in Paris on June 6 after FIFA and Qatar jointly submit the names of potential co-host nations to the governing body's Congress. 

FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, is the leading supporter of expanding the 2022 World Cup, bringing forward an increase in the number of teams which had initially been planned for the 2026 finals staged in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The increase in teams will see the tournament feature 80 matches instead of the 64 used in traditional 32-team World Cup. For the 2026 tournament in North America, 60 games will be held in the United States with Canada and Mexico getting 10 games each. 

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