23 May 2019
FIFA to stick with 32 teams for 2022 World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest football event and draws billions of viewers worldwide.
Traditionally, played with 32 teams, the tournament has seen enormous success ever since.
As a result, FIFA was considering making it even bigger by expanding it to 48 teams for the 2022 edition.
However, they have decided to stick with 32 teams.
48-team plan scrapped due to logistical feasibility
FIFA came up with the plan on January 2017 for the 2026 World Cup, to be hosted jointly by USA, Canada and Mexico.
The suggestion of possibly increasing the same for the 2022 edition was proposed.
However, FIFA concluded that Qatar would then need to host some of the matches with other neighboring countries to make it logistically possible.
Thus, the plan was scrapped.
Logistical requirements cannot be met for Qatar's 48-team tournament
FIFA also stated that after a thorough analysis, it was concluded that the logistical requirement for the 48-team World Cup would further increase.
The tournament would need more stadiums to be built and the neighboring countries will need time to prepare.
Also, it is unlikely that the requirements would be met until the official deadline, thus leading to the idea being scrapped.
Setback for football nations, but right choice by FIFA
While the news certainly comes as a setback for some football nations and millions of fans, the decision was taken in the best interest by FIFA.
The author completely supports FIFA regarding this decision as it is certainly too late for such a proposal for Qatar.
Also, such tournaments need to be jointly hosted by other countries, rather than relying on one host.
Qatar's 48-team World Cup not possible under current circumstances
"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," FIFA confirmed in an official statement.
No proposal for 48-team World Cup in next FIFA Congress
"It was, therefore, decided not to further pursue this option. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on June 5," FIFA further asserted in the statement.