The search for the host nation of the 2026 FIFA World Cup has officially begun as the bidding process will kick off soon.
FIFA World Cup is held once every 4 years and Brazil was chosen to be the host nation of the World Cup 2014. Russia is the next nation to host the 2018 World Cup while the 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar. The 2026 World Cup is not slated to be held in either Asia and Europe, but the bidding process will be held in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.
On 20th March, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke announced that the 209 member associations of FIFA will join the FIFA’s executive committee to choose the host nation for the 2026 World Cup at the 2017 congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They are expected to choose the host under the new bidding rules.
The expected bidders are as follows:
- United States
Valcke said the executive committee were expected to approve the regulations for the bidding process at its next meeting in May as the regulations “will be transparent from the first minute of the process until the decision-making”.
The bidding process is expected to begin several days after bid regulations are approved on 30th May.
The new bidding rules were established as both Russia’s and Qatar’s bids have been shrouded in various controversial issues. Russia was criticised for the 2014 Crimean crisis and their alleged involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The country was also criticised for the level of racism in Russian football and the discrimination against LGBT people in wider Russian society.
As for Qatar, various human rights group and media outlets have expressed their concerns over the country’s suitability to host the event. FIFA officials were accused of corruption for allowing Qatar to “buy” the World Cup and was criticised for the treatment of foreign construction workers. FIFA president Sepp Blatter later admitted that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake” because of the extreme heat, which is deemed unsuitable for the players, the officials, and the spectators.
Thus, FIFA is looking to hold a 28-day tournament in the Gulf emirate’s cooler months. Before the FIFA executive committee approved the timetable, the group decided that the 2022 World Cup final will be played on 18th December, which is Qatar’s national day. However, the opening day for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was left undone. Valcke further stated that the 2026 World Cup should be “played in June or July 2026”.
As for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, 4 early bids have been proposed, including a collective bid from the ASEAN nations, a proposed bid by the Football Federation of Chile, and a proposed joint bid from Uruguay and Argentina.
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