World Football governing body, FIFA has dropped its plans to expand the number of teams to contest the 2022 edition of the World Cup billed to hold in Qatar.
Fifa had planned to begin the 48-team expanded World Cup in 2026, but explored the option of beginning the new format four years earlier.
The change would have required Qatar to share hosting duties with other countries in the region.
But the football body on Wednesday night said after a “thorough and comprehensive consultation process” the change “could not be made now.”
Fifa has decided not to pursue the plans as there was not enough time “for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.”
In a statement, the Qatari World Cup organisers shared similar sentiments with the world football body, but assured they will deliver a worthy 32-team tournament in 2022.
“With just three and a half years to go until kick off, Qatar remains as committed as ever to ensuring the 32-team Fifa World Cup in 2022 is one of the best tournaments ever and one that makes the entire Arab world proud,” the statement reads.
As it stands, the expanded World Cup will now be hosted as initially planned at the 2026 edition, billed to be co-hosted by USA, Mexico and Canada.
The expansion in 2026 will see an initial stage of 16 groups of three teams precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32.
The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: How roadside foods endanger consumers’ life with trans fat in northern Nigeria
With an estimated 854,000 deaths in Nigeria, and 3,229 attributed to trans fatty acids (TFA) -related cardiovascular deaths, ADESOLA IKULAJOLU visited Nigeria’s...
INVESTIGATION: Untold story of Ondo oil producing communities battling poor health system
Access to quality healthcare is one of the nightmares of communities in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State. Despite...
FEATURE: Ogun residents, waste collectors trade blames, as refuse litter environment
TIJANI ABDULKABEER, a journalist from the University of Ibadan, during a recent trip to Sango Otta, Ogun State took a look...
INVESTIGATION: How online fraudsters siphon victims’ funds through ‘SportyBet’ platform
As Nigeria transits into a cashless society, the evolution also creates opportunities for internet scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...