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FIFA boss wants 2026 bid process to be clean

Reuters

FIFA must make the 2026 World Cup bidding process “absolutely bulletproof” because the entire organization’s credibility is at stake, new president Gianni Infantino said on Friday.

Infantino, elected FIFA boss last week, hopes to start 2026 bidding within three months after it was delayed by the wide-reaching corruption scandal that rocked the governing body last year.

“We have to get the 2026 bidding process absolutely right,” Infantino told the BBC.

“It’s certainly the commitment that I want to give; that I will do everything I can to make sure that this happens because I think that the credibility of FIFA is, as well, at stake here.

“We need to make sure that we do everything we possibly can, not only to prevent strange things to happen around bidding processes but also to prevent the perception that strange things could happen.

“We need to make sure that bidding process that we put in place is absolutely bulletproof.”

Every World Cup bidding process since 1998 has been the subject of allegations of corruption and bribery.

The awarding of the 2018 and 2022 finals, to Russia and Qatar, respectively, is being probed by Swiss authorities.

On Friday, a report into the bid for the 2006 World Cup awarded to Germany found no evidence of vote-rigging, but was unable to explain a $10 million payment by the country’s bid chief Franz Beckenbauer to a company owned by Mohammed Bin Hammam.