International

FIFA discussing 48-team Qatar World Cup, confirms Infantino

2019-01-17 23:08
Gianni Infantino (Getty Images)

Marrakech - FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that world football's governing body is discussing the feasibility of expanding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams.

The World Cup finals have been played with a 32-side format since 1998, and the addition of 16 extra countries has long been planned for the 2026 edition.

But Infantino has hinted in recent months that the expansion could be brought forward, and confirmed on Thursday that it may go ahead in Qatar, although admitted that some matches may need to be staged in neighbouring countries.

"The Qataris have been very open to the idea of studying this issue," Infantino said after a FIFA summit in Marrakech.

"The majority of federations would like this to happen, but you have to see if it's possible at the organisational level.

"Of course, it's going to be difficult to organise a World Cup with 48 teams only in Qatar. The idea would be to hold some matches in neighbouring countries."

But that is complicated by Qatar being at the centre of the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in years.

Since June 2017, it has been politically and economically isolated in a rancorous diplomatic dispute with former allies, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

"We are in football and not in politics," insisted Infantino. "We can see what we can get."

The Swiss-Italian also reiterated his plan to expand the Club World Cup.

"We want to make it a real World Cup, with maybe 24 teams from all the continents," he said. "The best teams are in Europe, but we need teams from around the world."

Read more on:    fifa  |  swc 2022  |  gianni infantino  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After slow starts to their respective 2018/19 Absa Premiership campaigns, who will finish the season ranked higher?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.