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Reports: 48-team 2022 World Cup decision in June

Khalifa International Stadium - Launched by Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

DOHA, QATAR: In this handout image supplied by Qatar 2022 on May 17, 2017, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy launches Khalifa International Stadium, the first completed 2022 FIFA World Cup venue, five years before the tournament begins. (Photo by Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy/Qatar 2022 via Getty Images)

Handout

If FIFA can find appropriate countries to help Qatar host the 2022 World Cup, we may very well have a 48-team tournament.

The 2022 edition has been under the microscope about as long as Qatar has held the rights to host it, with workers’ rights and slave labor joining a suspicious bidding process which ultimately helped usher former FIFA czar Sepp Blatter out of his seat of power.

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Ten venues across five countries have been mentioned as possible co-hosts, with Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait in the running to host select World Cup matches.

FIFA conditionally approved the expansion of the tournament on Friday, pending a “joint feasibility study” conducted by Qatar and FIFA.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino infamously quipped that sharing the tournament could bring a measure of peace to the Middle East.

A 24-team 2021 Club World Cup was also approved, as the threat of big European teams boycotting the summer edition looms over Infantino’s plan to expand FIFA’s marquee club tournament.

Follow @NicholasMendola