FIFA have formally abandoned plans to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams, remaining at 32 squads in Qatar, but should still have 48 in 2026.
“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 neighboring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” read the FIFA statement.
“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 2022 World Cup will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams, and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June.”
The plan had been in the works for some time, but it seems FIFA President Gianni Infantino has finally accepted it is too unpopular and impractical.
FIFA already faced condemnation for choosing Qatar as the host nation for the tournament.
However, it is likely the 2026 World Cup to be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be expanded to 48 teams.