FIFA will decide the format of the 2019 World Cup in Qatar in early 2019, the International Football Association Board has announced.
The 2026 edition of the tournament, which will be played from a single venue in Qatar, will be contested from June 2019, with the 2022 edition played in Russia.
“The format of a World Cup that will be held in 2020 is to be decided in mid-November,” said FIFPro president Michel Platini at a press conference.
“The decision is to choose a format in accordance with the best interests of football in Europe and for everyone to participate.
We want to make sure that this format is the right one for the players, fans and everyone involved in this project.”
Platini said the decision was made by a FIFA board of governors meeting in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Tuesday.
He did not elaborate on what the board would discuss, but the announcement was met with scepticism in Qatar and elsewhere, including in the United Kingdom.
Platinis said that the board had asked the FIFA executive committee to take into consideration the feedback from the clubs and fans who have been voicing concerns about the potential format.
“We want to get all the information, the suggestions, and the opinions on this in the right hands,” Platini said.
The World Cup will take place in Qatar from June 28-30, 2020, with a 2026 group stage and a 24-team final on June 30.
Plateini also said that UEFA would decide which nations would host the 2020 tournament, although it is unclear if that would include the United States or Russia.
The 2018 tournament was played in Germany, although UEFA did not confirm it would host.