FIFA president Gianni Infantino may require a few more months in order to finalise the total teams participating at the 2022 World Cup. Qatar will be hosting the World Cup that is expected to feature 32 teams but there has been a desire from FIFA to increase the total count to 48 teams. However, Qatar will not be able to accommodate all the matches for the 48 teams considering that the World Cup needs to be held as a winter tournament for a very short period in order to combat the high temperatures that prevail in the region during the daytime.
As a result, the additional 16 teams have to be accommodated by other Gulf regions but it is turning out into a difficult proposition due to the geopolitical complications in the region. United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have cut ties with Qatar for the last two years due to political disputes and even flights are prevented from flying between the countries.Infantino says that the complications between these countries have forced FIFA into taking more time into making a decision for the total number of teams. Qatar were able to win the rights to host the World Cup 2022 back in 2010 but it was only prescribed for 32 teams. As a result, the nation is constructing only eight stadiums.
“"If it's possible I'm happy. If not I'm happy. I'm always optimistic“. We need everyone aligned. We need to respect a democratic process. It's a bit difficult. We're not just talking about money. In any other sector if someone comes up with an agreement worth $25 billion people don't say 'no.' They say 'congratulations'. I can guarantee you that, considering the past, nobody in FIFA would ever “consider doing something strange“ at a commercial level," said Infantino.