Football governing body, FIFA has announced that it is considering the expansion of the 2022 World Cup to be hosted by Qatar to 48 teams.
The decision was reached after FIFA held its ninth meeting in Miami, where members of FIFA’s strategic and decision-making body voted on a number of agenda items that will shape the future of international competitions.
Some of the decisions reached also include the implementation of the Video Assistants Referee for the first time in the Women’s World Cup to be hosted by France in June 2019.
A statement on FIFA official website said reads;
“The FIFA Council discussed a number of pending issues regarding other upcoming FIFA competitions, having decided on:
“The implementation of the VAR system at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, following what The International Football Association Board acknowledged as a resounding success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“The regulations for France 2019 have been amended accordingly. After being presented with a thorough feasibility study on the increase of the number of teams from 32 to 48 at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
FIFA Council acknowledged the study’s conclusion that expanding the tournament to 48 teams was feasible, provided that neighbouring countries hosted some matches (with Qatar as the main host country).
“The process is now entering its next stage, in which, together, FIFA and Qatar will explore this possibility further and analyse if a joint expansion proposal that meets all the necessary requirements can be submitted to the FIFA Council and the FIFA Congress in June.
“Should such a joint proposal be submitted, the vote on the final decision will be taken by the 69th FIFA Congress, taking place in Paris on 5 June 2019. In the meantime, preparation for a 32-team tournament continues normally in Qatar.
India was appointed as the host country for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Brazil was also confirmed as the new host for the 2019 U-17 World Cup after FIFA terminated the hosting agreement with the Peruvian Football Association.
The tournament date for the 2019 FIFA Beach soccer was fixed from November 21 to December 1 and the host remains Paraguay.