Qatar Says World Cup Expansion Decision Not to Be Binding

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Qatar Says World Cup Expansion Decision Not to Be Binding

Qatar announced on Saturday that no decision will be imposed on it to extend the 2022 Qatar World Cup tournament to 48 teams; a move, if approved by FIFA in June, will require co-hosts in the region to support Qatar amid tensions with neighboring Gulf countries.

"(The) decision will be made between FIFA and Qatar," the secretary general of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan al-Thawadi, stated.

"In case a decision is made it will be due to our willingness and belief in the benefits of the increase. If we find that there is no benefit to it, or that the negatives are more than the positives, our decision will be to remain on 32 teams,” he added.

"In case it is increased, (the feasibility study) favors expansion to other countries. We are studying (it) in all seriousness and the decision will be next month and it will be final,” he affirmed.

“I will leave the period of suspense until we announce it next month,” he pointed out, highlighting ongoing talks between FIFA and Qatari organizers.

"We have now six more stadiums to go. By the end of this year (or) first quarter of next year we will be launching two stadiums as well. By 2021 all our stadiums will be ready. I'm very proud to say that infrastructure-wise, we are there," he said.