ZURICH, Switzerland.- The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will have to be played in just 28 days, even if an expansion to 48 teams is approved, said FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who acknowledged that the tight schedule will further complicate his intention. of a wider tournament.
FIFA will decide in March whether to add 16 teams to the highest soccer event in 2022, but Infantino said the chances of expansion are ” certainly tiny ” due to the dates – and the reality that the host Qatar would need the help of several neighboring countries to mount several additional parties.
A World Cup of 48 selections involves the dispute of a total of 80 matches, which would require six matches on the same day during the group stage to be able to complete the 28 days. Some matches in the direct elimination phase would have to be played at the same time.
FIFA had already cut four days to the tournament compared to this year’s World Cup in Russia to be played in November and December to avoid the desert heat. The European leagues, which will miss important weeks of the 2022-23 season, insist that they can not make another commitment by giving more days to FIFA in November.
GIANNI INFANTINO PROPOSES WORLD 2022 MATCHES OUTSIDE OF QATAR
DOHA, Qatar.- FIFA President Gianni Infantino says political tensions are not going to stop the organization from deciding whether some 2022 World Cup games are played outside of Qatar.
Infantino used a meeting of football leaders in Qatar on Thursday to get support for his mission to add 16 teams to the 2022 tournament, a step that would require the tiny Gulf nation to share games with neighboring countries. That would be complicated by the fact that Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in 2017 in a dispute that prevents flights between Doha and the countries participating in the boycott.
Qatar won the venue of the 2022 tournament in 2010 to do it with 32 teams and is only building eight stadiums. The participation of 48 teams is already planned for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but Infantino wants to accelerate the expansion and add 16 matches to the tournament in Qatar.
” Is it possible to do it only in Qatar? Maybe it’s difficult, ” said Infantino. ” Is it possible to play some matches in neighboring countries? Well, maybe that’s an option, of course.”
” I’m not naive enough not to know and not read newspapers and not know what’s happening, but we’re in football, not politics, and in football sometimes the floors come true.”
Given that 32 countries compete in the FIFA World Cup and FIFA has 211 members, adding more posts would almost certainly have the support of the members, bearing in mind that they already approved the extension of the contest from 2026.
Infantino took a trip to Doha in October to ask the Emir of Qatar if he would consider allowing some World Cup matches to be shared with nations that are part of the boycott against his country.