FIFA have abandoned their plans to have 48 teams at 2022 World Cup in Qatar

The World Cup will remain a 32-team tournament

FIFA have reportedly abandoned their plans to make the 2022 World Cup in Qatar a 48-team event.

It was feared by football fans across the globe that the controversial change to the format would come into play as early as three years time.

But according to The Times, FIFA president Gianni Infantino - who has been pushing massively to make the change - has accepted that it would be too much of a challenge to do so in Qatar.

Infantino will formally announce the decision at FIFA's congress meeting on June 5 in Paris and the Qatar World Cup will remain as a 32-team event.

However, the only downside is that the tournament is expected to rise to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament.

That competition will be hosted in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.

While the idea will not go down well, at least the governing bodies have seven years to make sure the plan works as well as possible.


Well, the way it would work would be a significant change to the group stage of the competition.

The Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar

Instead of eight four-team groups, there would instead be 16 three-team groups, with the top two sides progressing as normal.

There would then be the addition of a last-32 round, increasing the number of overall games from 64 to 80.

While football fans would be treated to more matches, the credibility of the tournament is what's being questioned.

What standard of football will we see in the early stages if 16 extra teams are allowed to travel?

France won the World Cup in 2018

Unless the majority of the added sides come from Europe and South America, probably not the greatest...

It will be a controversial change to the format, but at least it won't be happening in 2022 - that World Cup has enough issues as it is.

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