Russia 2018 boss Alexey Sorokin believes expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams would present Qatar with a “domino effect” of logistical issues that the Gulf state might not want to tackle, reports Reuters.
FIFA has already agreed to increase the number of teams at a World Cup from 32 to 48 in 2026, when Canada, Mexico and the United States will host the tournament.The idea to expand the tournament was championed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and in recent months he has made it clear that he does not want to wait until 2026 to see the World Cup grow from 64 games to 80.
Publicly, Qatar has made polite noises about being willing to discuss the idea but is understood to have serious reservations about such a huge change, particularly as they are already eight years into a massive 12-year building programme to prepare for the event.
On Saturday, though, Sorokin appeared to give his view on the potential success of these conversations.
“It’s important to remember what the country has bid for and planned for,” the Russia 2018 chief executive and FIFA Council member said.
“To change that is not a minor decision that can be made in five minutes. There is a domino effect of going from 32 teams to 48.”