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Qatar 2022, Stadion, Al Wakrah Centre

Next World Cup Set To Increase From 32 to 48 Teams

The FIFA Council held its ninth meeting in Miami, where the members of FIFA’s strategic and decision making body voted on a number of agenda items that will shape the future of international competitions, chief of which was the introduction of a revamped, 24-team FIFA Club World Cup.

The FIFA Council discussed a number of pending issues regarding other upcoming FIFA competitions, having decided on:

  • The implementation of the VAR system at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, following what The International Football Association Board acknowledged as a resounding success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The regulations for France 2019 have been amended accordingly.
  • After being presented with a thorough feasibility study on the increase of the number of teams from 32 to 48 at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the FIFA Council acknowledged the study’s conclusion that expanding the tournament to 48 teams was feasible, provided that neighbouring countries hosted some matches (with Qatar as the main host country).
  • The process is now entering its next stage, in which, together, FIFA and Qatar will explore this possibility further and analyse if a joint expansion proposal that meets all the necessary requirements can be submitted to the FIFA Council and the FIFA Congress in June.
  • Should such a joint proposal be submitted, the vote on the final decision will be taken by the 69th FIFA Congress, taking place in Paris on 5 June 2019. In the meantime, preparation for a 32-team tournament continues normally in Qatar.
  • The appointment of India as the host for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020.
  • The ratification of the decision taken by the Bureau of the Council on 15 February 2019 to terminate the Hosting Agreement in place with the Peruvian Football Association and appoint Brazil as the new host for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019.
  • The tournament dates for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020: 12 September – 4 October 2020.
  • The tournament dates for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019: from 21 November to 1 December.
  • The decision-making process guiding the selection of the host(s) for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, according to which:
  • Following the submission of bids in October 2019: FIFA will evaluate bids received and exclude any bids which do not meet the minimum hosting requirements (either based on the bid documentation alone or following site inspections and subsequent evaluation).
  • In February 2020: the FIFA administration will publish the Bid Evaluation Reports.
  • In March 2020: the FIFA Council will decide on host(s), with the result of each ballot and related votes of each member of the FIFA Council being open and made public.

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