After trying to increase the number of the teams for the 2022 FIFA World Cup from 32 to 48, the federation has ended efforts on Wednesday.
FIFA announced they’ve given up efforts for possible expansion which would’ve seen matches held in Qatar and one other country in the Persian Gulf.
According to the Associated Press, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia were linked as possible co-hosts, but it would involve all three countries to restore both economic and travel ties with Qatar which were severed two years ago.
“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,” a statement read. “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.”
Kuwait and Oman were left as the only viable options remaining, but different factors went against each country. Onman showed small interest in hosting matches for the World Cup, while a lack of time is against using Kuwait as a co-host.
FIFA already faced problems as they moved the tournament to the winter due to Qatar’s fierce summer temperatures. The tournament will now run from Nov. 21- Dec. 18, 2022.