FIFA has resigned its efforts to expand the world championship in 2022 to 48 teams, the soccer world leader announced Wednesday.
"In accordance with the conclusions of the FIFA Council approved feasibility study at its last meeting, FIFA and Qatar have jointly examined all possibilities to increase the number of teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighboring states on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 , "a FIFA statement read on Thursday."
"After a thorough and comprehensive consultation process involving all relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that such a proposal could not be done now under the current circumstances.
"FIFA and Qatar have again re-examined the possibility that Qatar is hosting a 48-team tournament by particularly lowering certain key FIFA requirements. A joint analysis concluded that due to the advanced preparation phase and the need For a detailed assessment of the potential logistical effect on the host country, more time would be needed and a decision could not be made before the June deadline, so it was decided not to continue this option.
"FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposals will be submitted at the next FIFA congress on June 5. "
FIFA had investigated whether logistical and political complexities could be overcome to extend the tournament from 32 to 48 teams , which would require at least another country to be used in Persian Gulf to accommodate another 16 matches in the region.
A FIFA's internal report concluded in March that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia cannot participate as hosts unless they restore the economic and travel links with Qatar, which was interrupted two years ago.
FIFA concluded that it was lacking then to prepare a country to host the extra games.
The regional diplomatic crisis left neutral Kuwait and Oman as the viable options. Oman has said it is not keen to host games at the FIFA show.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.