MOSCOW—Qatari organizers of the 2022 World Cup say they’re open to talks about a 48-team tournament, and can see a format to host it alone.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s wish to add 16 extra teams in 2022 was seen as pushing Qatar toward letting neighbouring states into a co-hosting plan.
In Moscow last month, pressure on Qatar was eased when the Infantino-chaired FIFA Council agreed the host nation’s consent was a “precondition” for change.
A senior Qatari official said Saturday a 48-team tournament could be staged using just the eight stadiums in and around Doha.
“Yes, it’s doable, we just need to figure out how it is done,” Nasser Al Khater, the assistant secretary general Tournament Affairs, told reporters. “If the format is done right, it could actually be an edition that is exciting.”
Though Qatar is willing to negotiate, the veto power it apparently gained is key to any progress on the tournament expansion.