The FIFA Council will meet in Miami today to discuss Gianni Infantino’s plans for 48-team Middle East Tournament to expand the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA President Infantino wants to increase the 2022 tournament from 32 to 48 teams and has also suggested non-elected Kuwait and Oman could host the extra fixtures as part of a broader Middle East World Cup, alongside elected hosts Qatar.
Members have already agreed to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026, but Infantino wants to bring the change forward to 2022.
Qatar won the rights to a 32-team event a decade ago and continues to prepare for the existing format.
A final decision on the matter was due to be made in this week’s summit in Miami, but Infantino has decided to move the final vote to FIFA’s annual Congress in June, where he is standing unopposed for re-election.
This will be the first FIFA meeting in the United States since a US State Department of Justice investigation prompted a series of dawn raids – the most notable being at Zurich’s Baur Au Lac Hotel which resulted in the arrest of several top FIFA officials.
The FIFA Council will also vote today to hold a ‘pilot’ edition of a 24-team Club World Cup in 2021.
The plan is opposed by European football body UEFA, as well as Europe’s professional leagues, who do not want to start any new competition until 2025.