JAVIER TORRES / © XTREMFOOTBALL
It’s well-known that 2026 World Cup will increase the number of teams joining the final tournament from 32 to 48. But… Will this happen in 2022? That’s now the big discussion on football community. Qatar will host the next football World Cup, and it’s not if Doha would agree.
“Any decision by FIFA to increase the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams will only be made in agreement with hosts Qatar”, has said Nasser al-Khater, assistant secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. “No decision will be made without the agreement of Qatar, this is an important point. It will be a joint decision”, he added.
“Technically speaking, everything is possible. It’s just that we need to understand the format, how it’s going to change, how many days would be increased for the 48-team World Cup and we take it from there”, affirmed al-Khater. “We are going to keep an open-door policy as we have been. We welcome everybody to come to Qatar and we still remain a Middle Eastern World Cup”.
Infantino agrees with the expansion
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is in favour of expanding the Qatar 2022 World Cup finals from 32 teams to 48. Infantino said that a majority of national soccer federations were in favour of expanding the tournament and a decision is expected by March ahead of the draw for qualifying matches.
“If it is possible, why not?”, said Infantino. “We have to see if it is possible, if it is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends, we are discussing with our many other friends in the region and we hope that this can happen. And, if not, we will have tried. We will have tried because we always have to try to do things in a better way”, Infantino told the media.