(WFI) FIFA president Gianni Infantino is supporting a joint 2030 World Cup bid from Argentina and Uruguay.
“An important theme is whether the World Cup can be played in more than one country,” Infantino said during a visit to the South American Football Confederation’s (CONMEBOL) headquarters in Paraguay on Monday.
“FIFA has been very much against a joint organisation. I personally support it,” comments which distance Infantino from his disgraced predecessor Sepp Blatter and his tarnished administration of world football’s governing body.
He noted that FIFA will mark the 100th anniversary of the World Cup in 2030, which was hosted by Uruguay who beat Argentina to lift the inaugural trophy.
The 2002 World Cup was staged by Japan and South Korea but organisational issues led to FIFA discouraging co-hosting. Holland-Belgium and Spain-Portugal bid for the 2018 World Cup, but they were regarded as outsiders.
Infantino met with CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez in Asunción yesterday.
The widespread FIFA corruption scandal engulfed CONMEBOL; its last three presidents and a number of national federation officials are among the more than 40 individuals and entities indicted in the U.S.
FIFA said in a statement that the ongoing implementation of reforms at FIFA and CONMEBOL were part of Infantino’s discussions with South America’s top football officials.
“FIFA and CONMEBOL have been facing a very difficult situation following the events of the past months. However, we are both committed to the implementation of the necessary reforms to ensure that we regain the trust of our key stakeholders and serve football in the best possible way,” said Infantino.
The FIFA president heads to Montevideo, Uruguay on Tuesday to hold talks with football officials and attend the country’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Peru. He is also travelling to Bolivia and Colombia on his South American tour.
Iraq Football Tragedy
Infantino said he was “shocked and terribly saddened” to hear of the suicide attack at a football match in the Iraqi city of Iskandariya on Friday that killed more than 40 people and injured more than 100. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
Expressing condolences to the victims’ families and others affected by the awful tragedy, he said: “Around the world, football unites people. It is a very sad day when people, going to a match together, become the victims of such violence.”
AFC president Sheikh Salman said in a statement: “On behalf of the Asian Football Confederation and the Asian football family I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the victims, the injured and their families, as well as the Iraq Football Association.
“Football is a powerful force for good and our game has a long history of bringing people together even during conflicts around the world. Using football and sport stadiums as a stage for these heinous acts of violence is a cowardly, completely unjust and indiscriminate act.”
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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