Severe allegations of bribery regarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contest has rocked the Zurich headquarter of FIFA recently which has led to the arrest of 7 officials and the stepping down of the elected Sepp Blatter. Amid this crisis, FIFA has decided to postpone the bidding process for 2026 World Cup.
Jerome Valcke, the secretary general of FIFA, said it was a “nonsense” to start the bidding procedure in the current scenario.
“Due to the situation, I think it’s nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being,” said Valcke, confirming the delay of the bidding process. He defended his role regarding alleged bribes paid by South Africa during the 2010 World Cup bidding elections.
The vote to get the right to host the 2026 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May 2017. FIFA has planned to write to its 209 member federations the schedule of the bidding process.
Apart from the United States, who are the front runners to host the mega-event, Canada, Mexico and Colombia have also shown keen interest in hosting the 2026 episode.
Russia and Qatar were elected to host the events of the 2018 and 2022 editions of the World Cup respectively by a secret ballot of 22 executive members of FIFA. Both Swiss and the U.S. prosecutors are investigating the alleged irregularities of funds during the bidding process.
Despite all the crisis the FIFA is pushing ahead with the preparation of the coming 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Overall the preparations for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup as well as our first major event, the preliminary draw, are well underway and on schedule,” Valcke said after a attending a meeting with the Russian organizers in the city of Samara in the Volga region on Wednesday.