FIFA study backs 48-team 2022 World Cup

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A FIFA feasibility study has concluded the 2022 World Cup can expand to 48 teams by using at least one of Qatar's neighbours as an additional host, and found another $US400 million (AU$560m) in revenue could be generated.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report on Monday that assesses the political, logistical and legal issues surrounding the addition of 16 teams.

The report was prepared by the governing body so its FIFA Council can agree in principle on expanding the tournament at a meeting in Miami on Friday.

A final decision would come in June.

The study identified stadiums in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that could be used, but said Qatari authorities would have to agree and government assurances be made.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE severed economic, diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar in 2017, which prevents flights between the countries. FIFA accepted the ongoing political spat prevented their involvement.

"Candidate co-hosts would need to be regarded as sufficiently cooperative ... such co-hosts would not sanction or boycott economically or otherwise any other potential co-host country," the report said.

With logistics already challenged by the existing plan to play 64 games in eight stadiums spread over a 30-mile radius in Qatar, FIFA said two to four additional venues are required in the region "with one or more" nation.

The study highlights that venues with at least 40,000 seats - for games up to the quarterfinals - were demanded of 2026 World Cup bidders but doesn't come to a conclusion on minimum capacities for 2022.

Since the vote to award Qatar the World Cup in 2010, FIFA has already had to change the schedule, taking the 2022 tournament away from its usual June-July slot because of Qatar's searing summer heat.

But the FIFA study found the enlarged tournament could still be played in a 28-day window from November 21 to December 18.

FIFA said there would be "no major concessions to the sporting quality of the tournament" with expansion. While there were a maximum of four matches per day in the closing stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA said the 2022 tournament could feature six separate kick-off slots.

The FIFA Congress has already agreed to expand to a 48-team tournament from the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

FIFA said it couldn't rule out legal action from losing 2022 bidders - including Australia - by changing the format, but "concluded that the risk was low."

The study also breaks down how FIFA can earn an additional $400.1 million by adding more games and increasing sponsorship.

Source AAP