FIFA has rejected a proposal to extend the 2022 World Cup in Qatar of 32 to 48 nations.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino who had continued pushing to extend the tournament after the matches of Italy, Holland, United States, Chile and Cameroon did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, was interested to give added countries from the Persian Gulf the chance to compete.
FIFA has however concluded it lacks the time to prepare other countries in the Persian Gulf to become a co-host, in large part due to logistical and political issues in the region.
“Following a careful and extensive consultation process with the engagement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was decided that under the prevailing circumstances such a proposal could not be executed now,” FIFA announced in a release.
“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, hence, remain as formerly planned with 32 teams.”
The arrangement not to extend the tournament in Qatar intends the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be the inaugural 48-team event.