Federation Internationale de Football Association pursues 48-team 2022 World Cup in Qatar with extra host

FIFA President Gianni Infantino addresses the media after a key meeting of football's world governing body in Miami

FIFA President Gianni Infantino addresses the media after a key meeting of football's world governing body in Miami

"We have decided that India will host the next U-17 Women's World Cup in 2020", FIFA president Gianni Infantino said after the FIFA Council met in Miami.

UEFA, European football's governing body, is unlikely to fight Infantino's plans at Friday's council, with the proposal expected to be passed on to a further meeting ahead of June's congress.

The World Cup is already growing to 48 teams from 2026, when the tournament will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. We can not just take [a] simple decision.

"We have the duty to look into it, 90 percent are in favour of an increase but it's not as easy as that". We have to analyze these matters very carefully.

Asian teams are the most successful teams in the tournament, with Japan (2014) and South Korea (2010) winning it once each, apart from the two won by North Korea.

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Qatar is now embroiled in a bitter diplomatic dispute with fellow Gulf states Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - meaning that the only realistic candidates to co-host the tournament are Kuwait and Oman.

The Associated Press on Monday revealed details of a Federation Internationale de Football Association feasibility study that said Qatar would not be forced to share games with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates unless those countries restore diplomatic and travel ties with Doha.

"We will move to the next stage, we will explore the possibility of who could potentially be hosting some of the Games in the Gulf regions", Infantino said. "We are in the lucky position of being in football, and that means you can only care about football". "I was very pleased by the reaction of Qatar". At least we don't have regrets that we didn't analyze this question.

"FIFA recognises that it is out of the question to share (matches) with (the) Qataris' detractors, the Emiratis and Saudi Arabia".

A document sent to the FIFA Council says its members will be asked if they agree with the report's conclusion that World Cup expansion is "feasible provided that neighboring countries host some matches".

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The 27 referees and 48 assistant referees selected for the Women's World Cup took part in VAR training at a camp in Qatar last month.

Infantino was more effusive about the revamped Club World Cup, saying that the current seven-team competition that is held every year in December will be replaced by a 24-team event, with a "pilot edition" being held in June of 2021.

The revamped FIFA Club World Cup will be played during the worldwide match calendar slot that corresponded to the FIFA Confederations Cup.

"We should enjoy what is coming", he said.

The ECA represents 232 clubs in Europe.

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UEFA also confirmed Europe had voted against the new tournament at Friday's meeting.

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