?FIFA have officially confirmed that they will enter into negotiations with 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar over expanding the current 32-team format to 48.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino had earlier revealed plans that would see the number of teams participating in the next World Cup increase, with suggestions that even Kuwait and Oman could host the potential extra fixtures alongside Qatar as part of a ‘Middle East World Cup’.
Members had already agreed to expand the original 32-team format to 48 teams for the 2026 World Cup, but it had been claimed Infantino wanted to bring the change forward to 2022.
Now, at the FIFA Council meeting that took place in Miami, Florida on Friday, it was confirmed (as per ?Get French Football News) that FIFA would work with Qatar to expand the 2022 World Cup into a 48-team tournament.
Final decision on this will be made in June once FIFA & Qatar has assessed viability from a logistical point of view. European voting bloc are anti the proposal, but don’t have the votes to block it.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) 15 March 2019
Further to this, according to ?ESPN, the Council have approved talks with Qatar over adding at least one other country from the Persian Gulf to host matches at the competition.
The report adds that FIFA will now produce a proposal with Qatar to take to the next council and congress meetings in June in Paris.
A feasibility study conducted by the organisation has outlined that Qatar would not be forced to share games with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or the UAE due to diplomatic tensions.
As a result, because of their ‘neutrality’ in the situation, Kuwait and Oman are the most likely options to co-host games at the 2022 World Cup.