Sunday, 15 July, 2018


Beckham Supports North American 2026 World Cup Bid

Fifa chief says 2022 World Cup cannot be expanded to 48 teams without Qatar’s approval Fifa chief Gianni Infantino | PTI
Noah Ferguson | 13 June, 2018, 16:17

The United 2026 bid will be hoping Beckham's global appeal works in the same way it did when he was used as an ambassador for London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, although his fame did not help England when it tried to win the right to stage the 2018 World Cup.

Grindel conceded, however, that the reports from the FIFA Evaluation Task Force - which cleared both bids to proceed to the FIFA Council for approval - "hands the momentum" to the United 2026 bid because the panel "sees advantages in the areas of stadium, transport as well as ticketing and hospitality".

The report noted "significantly higher" forecast revenue of $14.3 billion from the North Americans and $7.2 billion from Morocco.

Infantino said that, if it were to be enlarged, "more teams means more stadiums, more venues, more hotels, more transportation".

"So now the infrastructure is more there, the excitement is more there and there's more people throughout the U.S. that are really starting to understand the game, get excited about the game and that's not just people inside the USA getting excited about European football, they're getting excited about the MLS and what's happening in the MLS".

The cost of taking the tournament to North America was marked at $2.16 billion, compared to just $1.87 billion for Morocco 2026.

"We are here to discuss the United bid for the Fifa World Cup 2026". FIFA will publish how federations voted.

"I think this United Bid is a very important message to the world because football is powerful; it can put together countries and the message of bringing all the three countries together is the future of football".

With the 2018 World Cup starting in Russian Federation on June 14, Infantino said he was confident the tournament would be impeccably organised and played down hooliganism fears.

Infantino told reporters from news agencies that it was premature to talk of a 48-team tournament in Qatar, which he stressed would have to be consulted first, and said he had no idea whether Iran could be a co-host.

"Whether this is possible to be done only in Qatar, of course, is a question mark", Infantino acknowledged, adding Qatar was never formally asked to host a 48-team event alone. The one-year deadline would begin during a blockade of Qatar begun one year ago by regional rivals including Saudi Arabia, who in that time have seemed more influential in FIFA's business.

"I find the CONMEBOL proposal interesting to study", he said.

"There is criticism of the existing proceedings from European associations, clubs and leagues", Grindel said.

"We should be proud and happy for that".

"And if the US, Canada and Mexico get that, it will be very special".

"I've seen how much the game has grown in the last 10 years and it's incredible to have happened so fast and changed in so many different ways", said Beckham.

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