The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

FIFA council to assess 2022 WCup expansion study next week

Associated Press Thursday, 7 March 2019, 17:06 Last update: about 13 days ago
FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks during a press conference after the FIFA Council Meeting, in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, March, 16, 2018. FIFA has finally and fully approved video review to help referees at the World Cup. The last step toward giving match officials high-tech help in Russia was agreed to on Friday by FIFA's ruling council chaired by Infantino. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks during a press conference after the FIFA Council Meeting, in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, March, 16, 2018. FIFA has finally and fully approved video review to help referees at the World Cup. The last step toward giving match officials high-tech help in Russia was agreed to on Friday by FIFA's ruling council chaired by Infantino. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

An agenda for FIFA's ruling council says plans to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams will be assessed at next week's meeting.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said fast-tracking the increase which was due to start at the 2026 tournament, would require using additional countries beyond Qatar.

Qatar's infrastructure is already stretched for the Middle East's first World Cup, currently scheduled for 32 teams playing 64 games in 28 days.

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To fit in 16 additional games, FIFA is looking at using Kuwait and Oman, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.

FIFA council members are yet to be provided with the feasibility study on World Cup expansion that will be discussed on March 15 in Miami.

The council will also discuss Infantino's desire to expand the Club World Cup and launch a Global Nations League, plans that have stalled amid European opposition.

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