FIFA asked to expand World Cup to 48 teams for Qatar in 2022

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FIFA asked to expand World Cup to 48 teams for Qatar in 2022
FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, Feb 22, 2014, Gianni Infantino gestures during a press conference at the Acropolis Convention Centre in Nice, southeastern France. FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants to team up with American, Chinese and Saudi Arabian interests to launch an expanded 24-team Club World Cup, played every four years starting in 2021, and a two-yearly global competition for national teams. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, FILE)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The governing body of South American soccer has asked FIFA to expand the World Cup to 48 teams for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

FIFA was planning to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams at the 2026 tournament. But CONMEBOL says its president, Alejandro Dominguez, has asked FIFA President Gianni Infantino to hasten the expansion for the 2022 event.

Increasing the number of games from 64 to 80 would pose additional challenges for logistics in Qatar.

The first World Cup in the Middle East is already operating on a tight 28-day schedule to please clubs after FIFA shifted the event from its usual June-July slot to November-December because of the extreme heat in Qatar.