Regardless of doubts concerning the geopolitical state of affairs within the Gulf and the blockade imposed on Qatar by its neighbors, the Fifa Council authorized the conclusions of a feasibility examine of the physique which estimates that to maneuver to 48 groups from 2022 World Cup is “doable”.
“Our mission is to proceed to develop soccer and proceed to enhance high quality , which is why we need to transfer to 48 groups in Qatar 2022,” mentioned Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
“We are going to work with FIFA to find out whether or not or not there’s a viable enterprise mannequin and if this transfer to 48 groups, is within the curiosity of soccer, event and Qatar,” responded the organizing committee Qatari, recalling that he had all the time been “open to discussions”.
To be extra convincing, Infantino despatched a survey to the members representing the six confederations displaying that this massive format may generate further revenues of between $300 and $400 million.
However to go from 64 video games (in a 32-team format) to 80, matches should be performed outdoors Qatar, in a neighboring nation. “No nation is a favourite,” mentioned a supply near Fifa, “5 nations can come ahead: Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.”
FIFA and Qatar now have two months to search out the neighboring nation that can host matches, many harking back to Oman. The ultimate choice will come again to the Fifa Congress, to be held on June sixth in Paris.
Because of the present blockade imposed by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Qatar, “the involvement of those nations within the group of the event collectively with Qatar implies the lifting of this blockade, particularly the lifting of restrictions on the motion of individuals and items,” additional emphasizes the feasibility examine of Fifa.
However the issue goes past soccer. For James M. Dorsey, researcher on the Singapore S. Rajaratnam College of Worldwide Research, interviewed by AFP, “if Qatar organizes the event with out Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates however with Oman and Kuwait, this might probably irritate the political state of affairs within the area. ”
Can a world co-organized in two or three nations assist to ease tensions? “I feel there isn’t a probability for that,” mentioned Dorsey, “the disaster within the Gulf is not going to be solved by enjoying soccer.This requires a joint decision or an settlement that can save the face.”