Paris (Web Desk): Football's global governing body FIFA has abandoned plans to expand the 2022 Qatar World Cup to 48 nations, deciding to stick with 32 countries because of the political and logistical complexities of using another Gulf nation.
The body said in a statement that "following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now".
"(The tournament) will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June," FIFA added.
An announcement of the final decision hadn't been expected until the congress, which is being held in Paris ahead of the Women's World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino had supported the increase in the size of the tournament.
However, the statement said that the study "concluded that due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June".