FIFA was bound to expand the men’s world cup to 48 teams, but this change won’t happen as soon as many expected it to happen. The soccer’s international governing body announced that it has decided to scrap the proposal to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams.
The expansion was the pet project of the FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who pushed the idea of expansion despite the likely need for Qatar’s neighbors to put aside the two-year blockade help the host in an expended tournament.
The expansion would have consisted an additional 16 matches and Qatar would have to share the duties of those matches with Kuwait and Oman who were looked like an option to host. However, there was not enough time to work a deal out, as FIFA have decided that it did not have enough time to upgrade facilities there.
Infantino looked at the expansion to build bridges between countries because “football makes miracles”. The expansion would have required the neighboring countries to lift the blockade on Qatar, particularly the ban of movement of people and goods between the countries.
The proposal was meant to be made official by Infantino at the 69th FIFA Congress on June 5 in Paris.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to be the first world cup to be played in the winter to avoid the extreme heat in the summer. The tournament was scheduled to be played in record 28 days, starting on Nov 21 and ending on Dec 18 with the final.