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2026 World Cup: Bidding process suspended amid Fifa corruption scandal

The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup has been suspended, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke has announced.

The decision on the next available tournament, which will follow those planned for Russia and Qatar, comes amid allegations of widespread corruption and bribery at Fifa.

The process was planned to start in Kuala Lumpur in May 2017.

The United States, who narrowly missed out to Qatar for the 2022 tournament, will remain the favourites to host the tournament.

Morocco, Mexico and Canada (who are currently hosting the Women's World Cup) are also thought to be contenders.

Having said they would never bid whilst Sepp Blatter was president of Fifa, England could potentially enter the race following the decision of the head of world football's governing body to step down.

Fifa are currently engulfed by allegations of corruption that is seeing them investigated by both Swiss and US authorities, with the bidding process for the tournaments awarded to Russia and Qatar central to those investigations.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/2026-world-cup-bidding-process-suspended-amid-fifa-corruption-scandal-10309602.html

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So that means that anyone from any confederation can bid? Not that Australia is willing to put our hands up just yet, with the farce of the 2022 bid race, especially now that Qatar can host in December and all.

Football Australia persuaded the other football codes to relinquish their stadiums for at least 8 weeks and suspend their tournaments for a month, the others agreed to this proposal, now you can simply change the dates, is that it?

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So that means that anyone from any confederation can bid? Not that Australia is willing to put our hands up just yet, with the farce of the 2022 bid race, especially now that Qatar can host in December and all.

Football Australia persuaded the other football codes to relinquish their stadiums for at least 8 weeks and suspend their tournaments for a month, the others agreed to this proposal, now you can simply change the dates, is that it?

Not the Asia confederation. It only goes back one tournament now instead of two, allowing Europe to bid

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Four years seems like a long time to make a choice.

Also, I wonder if FIFA would allow the USA to bid with a 64 team tournament instead of a 40 team tournament. A 64 team tournament would simply replace the one extra group stage match in a 40 team tournament with an extra round in the knockout stage, so it would not require lengthening the duration of the tournament or adding extra matches for players. That might be seen as an unfair advantage in bidding, though.

Edited by Nacre

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Four years seems like a long time to make a choice.

Also, I wonder if FIFA would allow the USA to bid with a 64 team tournament instead of a 40 team tournament. A 64 team tournament would simply replace the one extra group stage match in a 40 team tournament with an extra round in the knockout stage, so it would not require lengthening the duration of the tournament or adding extra matches for players. That might be seen as an unfair advantage in bidding, though.

64 teams ain't gonna happen. That's ridiculous. Anything over 40 teams is quite insane. When will it stop? 72? 96? :rolleyes:

And then what? They would scale it down again to 32 for the Centennial in 2030 when that's about all that Argentina-Uruguay can handle??

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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It would only make sense for a World Cup in the USA, where there are ~65 football stadiums with 60,000 seats or more. Some of those stadiums are not wide enough for soccer or are in small college towns. But we would only need about 27 stadiums, which is of course fewer than the number of luxurious NFL stadiums in the country.

Before 2014 I would have agreed with you. But after watching Costa Rica advance in their group over Italy and England, Spain fail to advance out of its group, the USA advance over Portugal, et al, I do not think it is crazy to allow more non-European teams in the tournament, which they will do with a 40 team World Cup anyway. Meanwhile there are a large number of deserving European teams (Sweden, Scotland, Poland, Romania, etc) that could be added.

As a one-off event the USA could easily handle it, FIFA would be able to sell 16 million tickets and countries like Hungary and Canada would love being able to participate.

Edited by Nacre

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It would only make sense for a World Cup in the USA, where there are ~65 football stadiums with 60,000 seats or more. Some of those stadiums are not wide enough for soccer or are in small college towns. But we would only need about 27 stadiums, which is of course fewer than the number of luxurious NFL stadiums in the country.

Before 2014 I would have agreed with you. But after watching Costa Rica advance in their group over Italy and England, Spain fail to advance out of its group, the USA advance over Portugal, et al, I do not think it is crazy to allow more non-European teams in the tournament, which they will do with a 40 team World Cup anyway. Meanwhile there are a large number of deserving European teams (Sweden, Scotland, Poland, Romania, etc) that could be added.

As a one-off event the USA could easily handle it, FIFA would be able to sell 16 million tickets and countries like Hungary and Canada would love being able to participate.

I knew that was your thinking. But just because there's an abundance of stadia, doesn't mean FIFA will want to fiddle with the structure of their tournament. Besides, even though you increase ticket sales, there's also the additional headache of housing, feeding, protecting another 500 players, their retinues, etc., in whatever colleges or hotels they can find.

There is such a thing as "over-organizing."

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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I knew that was your thinking. But just because there's an abundance of stadia, doesn't mean FIFA will want to fiddle with the structure of their tournament. Besides, even though you increase ticket sales, there's also the additional headache of housing, feeding, protecting another 500 players, their retinues, etc., in whatever colleges or hotels they can find.

Pretty sure the mechanics of hosting a 64-team soccer tournament aren't at all a problem.

The issue is there aren't close to 64 teams that have any business being in the World Cup. I'd argue there aren't 40, but that's a different discussion for a different day. It's also a political nightmare... how do you distribute the extra slots to the confederations? You can go down 5-10 slots in Europe and still have respectable teams. Do the same the other conferences and you get dregs. You couldn't just double the confederations slots from the 32 bid tournament. You'd have to heavily weight the extra spots to Europe, and that wouldn't be popular.

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The World Cup is probably at its perfect size now. I've often wondered what would happen if they dumped splitting into the confederations & just had a global, anyone v anyone qualifying for the spots.

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I'm English, so I'd love to see my country host it. I also wouldn't mind Canada or the US

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Infantino: FIFA to decide in January on expanded World Cup

ZURICH - FIFA wants to decide in January if the 2026 World Cup will expand from its 32-team format, with 40 or 48 teams the favoured options.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Thursday he expects a decision when the ruling council meets for the first time next year. The January session is likely to be in Zurich.

"The general feeling is rather positive," toward expansion, Infantino said at a briefing after FIFA's ruling council met. "The level of quality of football is increasing all over the world."

The 2026 World Cup — which many expect to be hosted across North America — could also be run centrally by FIFA from Zurich instead of by the hosts' own local organizing committee.

Infantino outlined plans for FIFA to take "full control of all money flows," and how it spends hundreds of millions of dollars on each tournament, before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It follows FIFA paying $453 million to Brazil's 2014 World Cup committee, and budgeting to spend $700 million on Russian operations running the 2018 tournament.

The World Cup is FIFA's prize asset earning around 85 per cent of its revenue, and shapes as a defining issue for Infantino before his term ends in less than three years.

The promise of extra World Cup slots is likely to appeal to the 211 member federations who vote, and FIFA would expect more matches to drive up the price of broadcasting and sponsor deals to fund Infantino's campaign promises of increased grants to members.

Infantino was elected in February having pledged during his campaign to add eight teams to the tournament.

In a recent speech in Colombia, Infantino suggested a 48-team tournament with an opening playoff round of 16 matches. The 16 winners would advance to join 16 seeded teams in a balanced 32-team group stage before the knockout rounds.

The 40-team format is problematic. The typical format of four-team groups would likely mean four of the 10 runners-up do not advance to a round of 16.

Groups of five teams would unbalance the fixture schedule and create integrity issues, by leaving some teams idle for the final round of games. It would also add an extra fixture to create an eight-game program for the finalists, which would be unpopular with clubs releasing their players to national team duty.

Expanding the World Cup also revives a difficult debate on how to spread the extra places by continent.

UEFA, where Infantino was the CEO-like general secretary for six years until February, has long been under pressure from other regions to relax its quota of 13 of the 31 qualifying slots.

Infantino said discussion on allocating the extra places must take place between FIFA's six continental confederations.

AP

http://www.timescolonist.com/infantino-fifa-to-decide-in-january-on-expanded-world-cup-1.2364384

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BIG NEWS: Fifa Council has ruled there'll be no bidders from Europe or Asia for 2026.

 

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So, here is is. This will be a boring bidding contest....

Quote

 

North America became a stronger favorite to host an expanded 2026 World Cup after FIFA all but barred European bidders.

FIFA says its ruling council agreed UEFA and Asian confederation members should not bid because Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup and Qatar in 2022.

Europe would be on standby if "none of the received bids fulfil the strict technical and financial requirements."

That's unlikely if the United States bids as expected, either alone or jointly with Canada and Mexico.
 
FIFA Council member Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer Federation president, says the decision "changed the landscape" of the 2026 contest.

FIFA favors co-hosting among regional neighbors, and a three-way bid could be popular if the tournament grows to 40 or 48 teams.

FIFA set the expansion decision for Jan. 9.

 

http://www.bigstory.ap.org/article/d19f1b6b84454d848ae85a6cdcc7bc17/fifa-blocks-europe-hosting-2026-wcup-lifting-us-hopes

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Interesting. A couple of points:

FIFA favouring cohosting? Where'd that come from? Since 2002 they've been avoiding it like the plague. 

But the very interesting bit is what it means for 2030. Would they go from North America straight to South America? 2 tournaments in close proximity in a region unfavourable to the Asian & European market, while also meaning Europe goes 16 years between WCs? Since UEFA will surely be able to bid, I'd say this is good news for a centennial World Cup in England. 

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And if it goes to up 40 teams  (or even 48 teams which is really stupid) -- that means there's more than enough host cities in the US to fulfill that req. :

NYC (MetLife),

LA (2 sites: new LA Galaxy stadium, StubHub, new NFL stadium; Rose Bowl will be too old by then) )  

SF Bay Area (2 sites: Avaya, Levi Stadium, Stanford or AT&T Park),

one each for the following:  

Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Tampa or Orlando(?), Dallas, Houston, Wash, DC., St. Louis. 

Maybe's? - Philly, Denver, San Antonio, San Diego

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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How are we going to cohost with Mexico when there's a giant wall between us? And I wouldn't be surprised if Canada builds a giant wall to keep American's out. 

Also, who gets the host slot when more than one country hosts?

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