FIFA has given up on its efforts to increase the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams, football’s world governing body announced on Wednesday.
“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally considered with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June,” a FIFA statement read on Thursday.
FIFA had been exploring if logistical and political complexities could be overcome to increase the tournament from 32 to 48 teams, which would have required at least one more country being used in the Persian Gulf to accommodate an additional 16 matches in the region.
A FIFA internal details had already concluded that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia could not join as co-hosts unless they restore the economic and travel ties with Qatar that were severed two years ago.
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