Qatar 2022 to be played with 32 teams: FIFA
Lausanne: The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will be played with 32 teams after FIFA decided against a proposed expansion of the tournament to 48 sides, the world governing body announced on Wednesday.
World football's governing body said in a statement that "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".
"(The tournament) will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June," FIFA added.
The statement said that the study "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."
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The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy accepted the decision, saying it was committed to ensuring the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will be one of the best tournaments ever.
"Following the conclusion of the joint feasibility study, Qatar and FIFA have reached the decision that the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will remain as a 32-team tournament.
"Qatar had always been open to the idea of an expanded tournament in 2022 had a viable operating model been found and had all parties concluded that an expanded 48-team edition was in the best interest of football and Qatar as the host nation."
"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 Qatar, 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.
"With just three and a half years to go until kick off, Qatar remains as committed as ever to ensuring the 32-team FIFA World Cup in 2022 is one of the best tournaments ever and one that makes the entire Arab world proud," the statement concluded.
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