FIFA has scrapped a proposition to expand the field to 48 teams for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The world football governing body had been considering plans to increase the number of competing nations by 16, requiring an additional country in the Persian Gulf to assist in hosting the quadrennial event, FIFA confirmed to Rob Harris of the Associated Press.
FIFA was probing political and logistical complexities affecting the region as part of the factors involved in expanding the tournament.
"Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now," FIFA's statement read.
An internal report from March adjudged that economic and travel relations between Qatar and potential co-hosts Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates would require repair before considerations could be made. FIFA's determination concluded that only Kuwait and Oman remained as viable options, with the latter previously claiming a resistance to participating.
The 2026 World Cup co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico will be the first contest to feature 48 teams split among 16 groups of three.