Russia 2018 boss Alexey Sorokin believes expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams would present Qatar with a "domino effect" of logistical issues that the Gulf state might not want to tackle.

FIFA has already agreed to increase the number of teams at a World Cup from 32 to 48 in 2026, when Canada, Mexico and the United States will host the tournament.

The idea to expand the tournament was championed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and in recent months he has made it clear that he does not want to wait until 2026 to see the World Cup grow from 64 games to 80.

Publicly, Qatar has made polite noises about being willing to discuss the idea but is understood to have serious reservations about such a huge change, particularly as they are already eight years into a massive 12-year building programme to prepare for the event.

With Qatar already downgrading its initial stadium plan from 12 to eight, many close observers of FIFA politics believe the idea to add 16 more teams and games would mean Qatar would have to share the tournament with the likes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

When Infantino was frustrated in his attempt to get expansion added to the agenda of the 2018 FIFA Congress in Moscow last month, it seemed this idea had been shelved but on Friday, in his tournament overview media conference, the FIFA president said conversations with Qatar would continue "calmly and quietly".

On Saturday, though, Sorokin appeared to give his view on the potential success of these conversations.
"It's important to remember what the country has bid for and planned for," the Russia 2018 chief executive and FIFA Council member said.

"To change that is not a minor decision that can be made in five minutes. There is a domino effect of going from 32 teams to 48.

"It's more base camps, more flights, it has multiple secondary effects. It will take a lot of specific planning, involving thousands of people. So for now no decision has been taken. It's been discussed but not agreed.

"It's important to listen to Qatar to find out if their infrastructure is up to it, because they applied for and prepared for 32 teams.

"So it's not about them discussing this with their neighbours, it's an important decision and it should be between them and FIFA."