FIFA President promises ‘bulletproof’ bidding process for 2030 World Cup

UK and Ireland can expect ‘bulletproof’ and ‘clean’ bidding process for 2030 World Cup, promised FIFA President Gianni Infantino .

A feasibility study is underway on whether to launch such a bid to host the centenary final, with the government behind the idea of ​​’bringing football home’ for a first world final on British soil since 1966. .

England’s latest bid – for the 2018 World Cup – ended in failure amid allegations of sleaze and corruption in the bidding process that led to Russia winning these finals and Qatar to obtain the rights until 2022 on the same day in December 2010.

David Beckham looks on in disappointment as England's 2018 World Cup bid ignored
David Beckham looks on in disappointment as England’s 2018 World Cup bid ignored (PA)

“I am very happy with what I was reading about the interest of Mr Boris Johnson and the whole of the British world in hosting a World Cup,” he said.

“The more candidates we have, the happier I am because we will run a bulletproof bidding process, which is clean, which is transparent, which is professional, where the rules are clear before the arrival of tenders.

“This is what we did last time around and I’m proud of it because if we hadn’t done it you (the media) would have killed us, and rightly so.

“But we did a tendering process that went very well and we want to do the same (in 2030).”

Regulation could be one of the keys to the success of a UK-Ireland bid. For 2026, the FIFA Council has decided to exclude the last two continental confederations that have hosted tournaments from the organization process.

If these regulations remain in place, it will prevent China from bidding due to Qatar hosting in 2022. Bidding regulations for 2030 are expected to be announced in the second quarter of next year, with a decision on accommodation pending. be taken during FIFA 2024. Congress.

The UK-Ireland bid would still face competition from a joint Spain-Portugal bid and a South American bid, which could get a sentimental vote after Uruguay hosted the first final in 1930.

Infantino was asked if China would be banned for human rights reasons, but does not appear to rule them out.

“Human rights are now a requirement in our bidding process, but we also need to understand that human rights being a requirement, it also means addressing them, going to the people, not to exclude anyone but to include everyone in the world, ”he declared.

“It’s my philosophy. I strongly believe in the power of football to bring about positive change and that can only happen if we act in a positive way.

“If we act in a negative way, if we start to exclude countries, people, races or whatever, then we are completely on the wrong side. “

He also said he was “100% sure” to have full stadiums for Qatar’s final next year, the world will hopefully recover from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic by then. .

“If in a year we are still discussing matches without spectators and lockdowns and other restricted measures, then I think the World Cup would be the least of humanity’s problems,” he said.

“But I have no doubts, after speaking to many government officials, not only in Qatar but around the world, and to the World Health Organization that with the vaccine everything will be in order and it will be fantastic.”

Decisions to host future Women’s World Cups will be made by the FIFA Congress, as has been the case for the men’s tournament since the 2026 finals were awarded to the United States, Canada and Mexico at the Congress 2018 in Moscow.

Australia and New Zealand secured the rights to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup in June of last year, but there has been controversy over how Europe and North America will vote. South as a bloc in favor of Colombia, although it received much lower scores in the process of evaluating the candidatures.

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