A decision to expand the tournament from 32 teams to 48 has already been made, although the change was not supposed to take effect until 2026, when the United States, Canada and Mexico co-host. However, Fifa president Gianni Infantino said last April that he was keen on bringing forward the increase to 2022, which he reiterated in Dubai earlier this year.
A FIFA feasibility study concluded the 2022 World Cup can expand to 48 teams by using at least one of Qatar’s neighbours as an additional host.
The study said a 48-team tournament would generate an additional US$400 million (Dh1.47 billion) in revenue.
Qatar is already planning to use eight stadiums, and the FIFA report says an additional two to four venues would be required in at least one country in a 48-team World Cup in 2022.
Kuwait and Oman emerged last week as possible partners given their neutrality in the ongoing boycott of Qatar by several of its neighbours.
The Fifa Council meets this Thursday and Friday in Miami, where they can agree in principle on expanding the 2022 tournament, on the condition that neighbouring countries host games. Fifa and Qatar would then submit a final proposal to the Fifa Council and Fifa Congress in June, where a final decision would be taken.
A 48-team World Cup increases the number of places available to teams of every confederation, with Asia granted 8 slots – an increase from 4.5 (four direct and one via an inter-confederation play-off), and not including the host nation. This means with better player selection, abled coach and with a plan India can have a shot at playing FIFA World Cup as soon as 2022