April 12 – The chances of FIFA increasing the number of teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 is around 50-50, Gianni Infantino has admitted.
Infantino, who has been in Brazil for a meeting of Conmebol, told delegates he was working hard on trying to bring expansion forward from 2026 to 2022 and stressed another 16 teams would mean a guaranteed two extra places for South American sides.
“We are working to see if we can get 48 teams in the 2022 World Cup because more participation means more development and more passion for everyone,” he said.
“We’ll see by June whether it is possible or not. (It’s) 50/50. What is 100% is that the 2022 World Cup is going to be spectacular and a total success.”
A final decision on the number of teams for the next finals will be taken at the FIFA Congress in Paris on June 5 but with Oman having declared this week that it would not be ready to co-host with Qatar, 50-50 may end up being optimistic.
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