Infantino hints at 48 teams for World Cup 2022

Gianni Infantino said that the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar might see the number of participating nations increase from 32 to 48.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino suggested the 2022 World Cup in Qatar might have 48 teams participating.   -  Getty Images

FIFA president Gianni Infantino suggested that the FIFA World Cup finals could be expanded from 32 to 48 teams in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, suggesting that it will benefit the Asian countries participating in the global event.

“We have decided... to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments from 32 to 48. It will happen in 2026. Will it happen in 2022? You know me. It is possible. It is possible. Why not?” Infantino said, as reported by The Guardian.

Infantino told the national football associations under the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that the expansion would see the number of Asian teams competing in the World Cup rise from 4.5 in a 32 nation tournament, to 8.5.

“You will have (a bigger) chance,” he said. “It is possible... It is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends. We are discussing with many other friends in the region. We hope we have it happen. We always have to try.”

Due to the extreme heat in the Gulf nation, FIFA, in July, announced that the 2022 World Cup will be played from November 21 to December 18, making it the first winter World Cup to be hosted in the Northern Hemisphere.

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