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Qatar World Cup to be played with 32 teams: FIFA

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be held with 32 participating teams and not an expanded 48 teams, FIFA said on Wednesday.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino had proposed expanding the tournament and explored the idea of adding additional host nations.

But the sport’s world ruling body said in statement: “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.”

“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,” said the FIFA statement.

“It was therefore decided not to further pursue this option.”

 

Qatar already inaugurated two stadiums, Khalifa and Al Janoub, and has six more to go including Lusail, which will be the largest with 80,000 seats to host the opening game and final. 

“At least one more stadium will be ready this year, “possibly two,” Nasser al Khater, chief of the local organizing committee, said recently.

He is hopeful they will complete all eight stadiums by 2020. “If there is any delay on any of the stadiums, by 2021 for sure all of them will be done,” Khater added.

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In line with the conclusions of the feasibility study approved by the FIFA Council at its last meeting, FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. 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.

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.

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 5 June.

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