FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed that majority of football federations are in favour of expanding World Cup to 48 teams.
Whether Qatar is ready to host the expanded tournament is another question but FIFA chief says they are ready. Infantino claims that Qatar may need neighbours to host the competition successfully, but the political-economic bad blood that exists between the 2022 host and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will present an additional challenge.
"We gathered the opinions as well of our members, the federations. So far, of course, the majority are in favour because 16 more teams participating not only means that 16 more countries will have World Cup fever, but 50 or 60 countries will be able to dream of qualifying for the World Cup. Whether it is feasible or not is a different question. Is it feasible to do it only in Qatar? Difficult probably. Is it feasible to have a few games played in neighbouring countries? Maybe this is an option." Infantino said.
"Of course, I'm not naive enough to not know and read the news, and what's going on, but we are in football not in politics and in football sometimes dreams come true. For those who think it's late, I've been told that the decision to move the World Cup in 1998 to 32 teams from 24 in 1994 was also taken only four years in advance so there is already a precedent," Infantino added.