You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Infantino plays down hopes of expanded World Cup in Qatar

AFP  |  Zurich 

all but wrote off the chances of an expanded 48-team competition at in on Wednesday.

Last month told the Asian Confederation's annual congress in that increasing the number of teams from the 32 that made up the tournament in this year was "feasible".

However he appeared to backtrack on that during an interview with AFP and other media in

"I haven't changed my mind," said

"I was positive about it from the beginning because I think if we can increase the number of teams it is good for That is why we are going to do it for

"Can we do it for 2022? It is a difficult challenge."

Accommodating another 16 teams would vastly complicate Qatar's task in preparing for the World Cup, which was awarded to the tiny desert state in 2010.

"We are in discussion with Qatar," said Infantino, who said the tournament would need to spread to neighbouring countries.

"It will be a very, very difficult challenge to do it only in

"So personally, as of FIFA, I would be very happy if some matches could be shared with some countries in the region."


The question of regional cooperation has been complicated by Qatar's stand-off with neighbours Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have cut off diplomatic relations and imposed a blockade on the resource-rich country, accusing it of endorsing terror activities.

"In the light of current circumstances in the region I would be even happier if it could happen," he said.

"unites, builds bridges, that could be a concrete result.

"What are the chances? Certainly small but what is wrong in discussing it?" said Infantino.

A final decision will be made in March at the next Council in Miami before the draws for qualifying are made.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 21:50 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU