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World Cup 2022: How many teams will there be at the World Cup in Qatar?

Sepp Blatter, World Cup 2022 Qatar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The World Cup 2022 in Qatar is set to host 32 nations.

While the format of the tournament will welcome an addition 16 teams for the 2026 edition in USA, Canada and Mexico, Qatar is set to become the last 32-country competition - hosting across just eight locations.

Qatar is a significantly smaller country than any that has ever hosted the tournament before. The Middle Eastern nation is roughly the size of Yorkshire - and so the whole of the World Cup tournament will be taking place around five cities. 

The Qataris planned to build 12 stadiums to host the competition originally. This has since been scaled back to eight.

The World Cup next winter will also take place across a shorter timeframe, with the whole tournament being completed within 28 days. The competition is set to begin on 21 November, culminating on 18 December 2022.

It has been discussed that the 2022 edition could well have 48 teams.

In April 2018, South American federation CONMEBOL requested that FIFA expand the 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams. This would be four years before the 2026 FIFA World Cup as initially planned - and FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he would consider the proposal. 

the FIFA congress rejected the request before the 2018 FIFA World Cup commenced, however. Infantino said the global football governing body would not discuss the possibility of a 48-team World Cup without first discussing the matter with the host country.

Opening the tournament to neighbouring countries has been touted, too.

In March 2019, a "FIFA feasibility study" concluded it possible to expand the tournament by another 16 nations - but only if "one or more" neighbouring countries and "two to four additional venues" were considered. FIFA also said that "while it cannot rule out legal action from losing bidders by changing the format [of the tournament], the study said it 'concluded that the risk was low'."

FIFA's member associations were ready to have voted on a final decision on a joint-proposal for the 2022 tournament at the 69th FIFA Congress in Paris, France by 5 June 2019 - but didn't receive one. 

On 22 May 2019, FIFA announced it would not expand the tournament.

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