FIFA’s council has approved working with hosts Qatar to explore expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams by adding at least one more country in the Gulf to host football matches.
The president of football’s governing body Gianni Infantino, wants to enlarge the tournament from 32 to 48 teams, which a FIFA feasibility study said would require at least one additional country to be used among five nations identified as possibilities.
The council approved further discussions with Qatar to produce a proposal for consideration in June when FIFA’s congress meet in Paris ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said following the council meeting in Miami, in the United States. In 2017, the body decided that the 2026 World Cup will feature 48 teams when it is co-hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico.
The Associated Press on Monday revealed details of a FIFA feasibility study that said Qatar would not be forced to share games with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates unless those countries restore ties with Doha.