Sport FIFA to allow Europe to bid for 2026 World Cup, damaging U.S....

FIFA to allow Europe to bid for 2026 World Cup, damaging U.S. hopes

FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has insisted that the 2018 World Cup in Russia is not under threat.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has insisted that the 2018 World Cup in Russia is not under threat.

North American countries’ hopes of hosting the 2026 World Cup were dealt a blow on Saturday after FIFA decided to allow confederations to host the event eight years after the World Cup is played in their continent.

Last week, FIFA were debating whether to extend that limit to one World Cup per confederation every 12 years, which would have prevented European countries from hosting in 2026 after Russia hosts in 2018.

Asian countries will not be allowed to bid for the 2026 World Cup after Qatar hosts in 2022, but they will still be able to bid in 2030.

A day after being elected to his fifth term as FIFA president, Sepp Blatter confirmed that “the right to host the event shall not be awarded to members of the same Confederation for two consecutive editions of the World Cup.”

Under the proposal to extend the time period between a contintent’s World Cup, the number of countries bidding to host would have dwindled without Europe and Asia eligible, and made the United States, Mexico and Canada clear front-runners to bring the World Cup to North America, but now they will have stiff competition from teams in UEFA, the European confederation.

The proposal was set be be voted on before the FIFA Congress, butFIFA announced on Monday that it would be delayed until Saturday — after the FIFA election.

During that time, the United States spoke out against Blatter’s leadership and supported his opponent, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said on Thursday that the chance to remove Blatter was worth possible repercussions.

“Would I like to see the United States host a World Cup in the future?” Gulati said. “The answer is, of course, yes. But for me, and for U.S. Soccer, better governance and more integrity at CONCACAF and FIFA are far more important than hosting any international soccer tournament. That’s our focus right now.”

UEFA have also spoken out against Blatter, with president Michel Platini personally asking him to resign in the wake of the indictments of top FIFA officials this week.

Also on Saturday, Blatter revealed that the allocation of slots per confederation for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will not change.

Blatter welcomed the new members of the FIFA Executive Committee and reminded those present that he was “the President of all member associations of FIFA” before insisting that FIFA has decided to keep the current allocation amid speculation that it could change.

The allocation is as follows:

Africa: 5
Asia: 4.5
Europe: 13
North, Central America and Caribbean: 3.5
Oceania: 0.5
South America: 4.5
Host: 1

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