Gianni Infantino’s arrival as FIFA’s new president might herald a new dawn at world soccer’s governing body, but Russia and Qatar shouldn’t worry about their old investments.
Infantino confirmed Monday that FIFA won’t move the 2018 and 2022 World Cups from Russia and Qatar, respectively, according to Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol. Infantino’s stance likely will discourage those who hope FIFA would consider re-voting on the host nations for the next two World Cups under a new president and a reformed governance structure.
FIFA elected Infantino Friday, and Monday was his first day on the job. In a brief interview, he talked about beginning the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup but made no mention of the controversial 2018 and 2022 votes.
Swiss authorities are investigating whether corruption and bribery tainted the bidding process, which resulted in FIFA awarding the next two World Cups to Russia and Qatar in 2010.
Russia will stage the World Cup in less than 30 months. The following edition of the world’s biggest sporting event will take place in Qatar in November and December of 2018, undoubtedly disrupting Europe’s major leagues for at least two seasons.
FIFA has long insisted its World Cup decisions were final, and that appears to remain the case.
Sorry, Team America.
Thumbnail photo via Ennio Leanza/Keystone/Associated Press
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