48-team World Cup in 2022 is Off

FIFA announced today that they have scrapped plans to expand the World Cup in 2022 to a 48 nation affair.

“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 FIFA statement read on Thursday.

“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.”

FIFA has been under scrutiny in recent years due to a number of scandals involving bribe payments.

And the times in the U.K., is reporting that the state of Qatar secretly offered $400m to Fifa just 21 days before world football’s governing body controversially decided that the 2022 World Cup would be held in the tiny desert country.

The files, seen by The Sunday Times, show that executives from the Qatari state-run broadcaster Al Jazeera signed a television contract making the huge offer as the bidding campaigns to host the World Cup were reaching a climax.

No word yet as to whether or not this latest scandal to break, may have prevented FIFA from expanding the competition in 2022.

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