Qatar World Cup to be played with 32 teams: FIFA

AFP

World football's governing body said in a statement that "following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now".

"(The tournament) will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June," FIFA added.

An announcement of the final decision hadn't been expected until the congress, which is being held in Paris ahead of the Women's World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino had supported the increase in the size of the tournament.

However the statement said that the study "concluded that due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June".

That led to FIFA dropping the idea, despite the organisation recommending in March that the number of teams should be raised to 48 for 2022, ahead of the planned 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.