Qatari organizers of the 2022 World Cup say they are open to talks about a 48-team tournament, and can see a format to host it alone.
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA — soccer’s world governing body — has expressed a desire to add 16 more teams in 2022. That wish was seen as pushing Qatar toward letting neighboring states into a co-hosting plan.
A senior Qatari official said Saturday that a 48-team tournament could be staged using just the eight stadiums in and around Doha.
Nasser Al Khater, the assistant secretary general for tournament affairs, told reporters: “Yes, it’s doable. If the format is done right, it could actually be an edition that is exciting.