Russian football official lauds FIFA’s decision on 32-team format for 2022 World Cup
- 23 May 2019
An initiative to increase the number of the world football championship from 32 to 48 is senseless as no country would be able to host the global tournament of such scale, former FIFA vice president Vyacheslav Koloskov told on Thursday, ONArepots citing Tass.
The world’s governing football body, FIFA, announced on Wednesday night its decision to maintain the format of 32 participating national teams for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar instead of raising it to 48 teams.
"The idea of 48 teams format is principally senseless as it would be detrimental to the audience appeal, interest and competitiveness," Koloskov, who is also the president emeritus of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said in an interview with TASS.
"I am not speaking here that not a single country will be able of organizing alone a tournament with such number of participating teams," he continued. "Speaking about Qatar, I have no clue whose ludicrous idea it was putting a host country in such extreme conditions with only three and a half years before the World Cup. This is why I believe that this decision [of FIFA] was absolutely correct and there should have been no other decisions on this issue."
The initiative to enlarge the participating format was voiced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino in 2016 during his election campaign for the post of the organization’s president, but he initially proposed the number of 40 national teams.
Qatar is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup between November 21 and December 18 at seven venues across the country, namely in Doha, Lusail, Al-Wakrah, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Umm Salal and Madinat ash Shamal.
Qatar won the right to host the matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on December 2, 2010.
In March 2015, FIFA officially announced that the 22nd edition of FIFA’s flagship event would be played in November and December 2022, with the final match set for December 18, 2022 - Qatar National Day - and with the objective, in principle, of holding the tournament for 28 days.