News 15 april — 21:27

FIFA chief Infantino holds World Cup expansion talks in Kuwait

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino held talks in Kuwait on Sunday about the country staging 2022 World Cup matches as he pushes to enlarge the Qatar tournament from 32 to 48 teams, AlJazeera reports.

After meeting with the emir of Kuwait and football officials, Infantino flew to Doha to see Qatari leaders on Monday about the prospect of overcoming the logistical and political complexities of adding 16 more teams to the event, which requires at least one additional Gulf country being used as host.

Football's governing body maintains it is working jointly with Qatar on the viability of a 48-team tournament, but the concept is mired in complexities stemming from the boycott of Doha by some of its Gulf neighbours.

A FIFA internal report concluded last month that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia cannot join the hosting unless they restore economic and travel ties with Qatar that were severed two years ago.

FIFA instead turned to Kuwait and Oman, who have remained neutral in the diplomatic dispute, as potential hosts.

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