Saturday, October 20, 2018 | ePaper

Qatar want FIFA talks on logistics of a 48-team World Cup

  • Print
AP, Doha :
Qatar wants talks with FIFA to discuss the feasibility of increasing the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams after soccer's governing body expressed interest in enlarging a tournament already having to overcome operational challenges.
The Gulf nation took two days to publicly respond to calls on Thursday from South American football nations to fast-track the jump from 32 to 48 teams at World Cups by four years.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who has already secured approval for World Cup expansion from 2026, has said he is receptive to the CONMBEOL request while acknowledging a feasibility study was required.
Qatar's infrastructure, which is being rapidly developed to cope with the World Cup, will already be stretched by the requirements of staging the Middle East's first World Cup. Enlarging the tournament would see the number of games rise from 64 to 80.
"Before any decision is taken it is important that discussions are held on the operations and logistics of an increase in size of the tournament in Qatar," the Qatar World Cup organizing committee said in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday. "Regardless of the outcome, we are confident in our ability to deliver a successful World Cup in 2022."
The tiny desert nation has only eight stadiums planned for the event and expanding the tournament might work only if the additional games are shared in the region.
The tournament is already due to operate on a tight 28-day schedule to minimize the disruption caused to the European season. Rather being staged in the usual June-July slot, the 2022 World Cup was shifted by FIFA to November-December because of the extreme summer heat.
Preparations for the event are being disrupted by the ongoing boycott by neighbors, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who severed diplomatic and travel links with Qatar in June 2017.
Kuwait, which retains ties with Qatar, would be a possible option to take on the burden of additional World Cup matches. But bringing another nation into the hosting, or requiring Qatar to build more stadiums, could increase the human rights scrutiny that has dogged it since winning the FIFA vote in 2010.

More News For this Category

Amid the turmoil, Ronaldo looks to pick up where he left off as Juve host Genoa

Amid the turmoil, Ronaldo looks to pick up where he left off as Juve host Genoa

AFP, Milan :Engulfed in turmoil, Cristiano Ronaldo will look to pick up where he left off on the pitch as Juventus host Genoa in Serie A on Saturday before next

Sevastova beats Zvonareva in 3 sets at Kremlin Cup

AP, Moscow :Anastasija Sevastova reached the Kremlin Cup semifinals by beating Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday.The Latvian player said she was lucky not to lose the

'Daffodil Captain Cup Golf Tournament 2018' begins

'Daffodil Captain Cup Golf Tournament 2018' begins

Sports Reporter :Lieutenant General Md. Shafiqur Rahman, Chief of General Staff, Bangladesh Army as the chief guest inaugurated 3-day long 'Daffodil Captain Cup Golf Tournament 2018' at Kurmitola Golf Club

Ed Moses says he was told to 'shut up' at WADA meeting

Ed Moses says he was told to 'shut up' at WADA meeting

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Moses says he was told to "shut up" at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) meeting.Beckie Scott, Wada's Athlete Committee chair, told the BBC some officials

Henry makes Ligue 1 return with freefalling Monaco

Henry makes Ligue 1 return with freefalling Monaco

AFP, Paris :Thierry Henry returns to Ligue 1 for the first time in 19 years this weekend, tasked with dragging a crisis-hit Monaco away from the relegation zone after a

Serena's coach says in-match coaching would boost tennis

AP :Serena Williams' coach says in-match coaching should be allowed in tennis to help the sport's popularity.Patrick Mouratoglou, who admitted he used banned hand signals to try to help Williams

Wounded Spurs healing in time for West Ham derby

Mauricio Pochettino expects Tottenham to thrive despite the damage to his injury-ravaged squad as they head to West Ham for Saturday's London derby.Pochettino's side return to Premier League action after

In this photo provided by the OIS/IOC, Gleb Brussenskiy of Kazakhstan celebrates his team's gold medal win as he finishes in the Cycling Men's Combined Criterium at Bosques de Palermo, during the Youth Olympic Summer Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday

In this photo provided by the OIS/IOC, Gleb Brussenskiy of Kazakhstan celebrates his team's gold medal win as he finishes in the Cycling Men's Combined Criterium at Bosques de Palermo, during the Youth Olympic Summer Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday

Los Angeles Dodgers' Austin Barnes hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Austin Barnes hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

China blacklists former AC Milan owner over unpaid debt

AFP, Beijing :The former Chinese owner of AC Milan has been added to China's blacklist of untrustworthy individuals over millions of dollars in unpaid debt, according to a local court,