Fifa has relinquished its plans to extend the 2020 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams and hosting a number of games in adjoining nations. Gianni Infantino, Fifa president, has been pressing for the tournament to be increased from 32 teams. However, he accepted that his plans and move is going to be a serious challenge.
In a statement, the sport world’s ruling body stated that after a careful and inclusive consultation process with the engagement of all pertinent stakeholders, it was deduced that under the present situation, such suggestion couldn’t be achieved. Yet, he stated that the change could be implemented from 2026, instead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup tournament.
Fifa had been investigating if logistical and political complication could be overcome to extend the tournament, which would have needed at least one more nation being used in the Persian Gulf to take in an additional 16 matches in the region.
In fact, Fifa even probed the likelihood of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament on its own but has resolved not to follow those plans as there weren’t enough time “for a thorough assessment of the possible logistical effect.
A Fifa internal report in March inferred that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia won’t be able to join as co-hosts till they reinstate the economic and travel ties with Qatar that were suspended two years back.
Fifa finished that it lacked to the time to prepare a nation to host the extra games. The regional diplomatic crisis left non-partisan Kuwait and Oman as the feasible options. Oman has stated that it isn’t interested on hosting games at the Fifa showpiece.
The 2026 World Cup is going to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, is supposed to have 48 teams.