Gianni Infantino keen for regional World Cups if appointed FIFA president

Published: Tuesday 19th January 2016 by The News Editor

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FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino would press for the World Cup to be held in a whole region rather than one or two countries.

Infantino, the UEFA general secretary, has published his manifesto for the FIFA election on February 26 and his most radical plan involves holding the World Cup in several countries.

It follows UEFA’s decision to play the Euro 2020 tournament in 13 different countries – the semi-finals and final will be played at Wembley Stadium.

Infantino said in his manifesto: “Each confederation shall have to wait at least two editions before being able to host the World Cup again.

“This will ensure a more equitable rotation, while giving every confederation the opportunity to organise this unique event.

“Furthermore, FIFA should investigate the possibility of organising the World Cup not only in one or two countries but in a whole region, so enabling several countries to enjoy the honour and benefits of hosting the World Cup.”

Infantino is standing against Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Bahraini head of the Asian football confederation (AFC), Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA deputy secretary general from France.

Infantino has also followed the example of rival candidates in promising national associations will receive more money from FIFA.

He says he will ensure each of the 209 national associations will receive 5million US dollars over a four-year cycle, with the possibility of a further 1million US dollars to cover travel costs.

For the last World Cup cycle, each association receiving 1million US dollars plus a further bonus from World Cup revenues of 1.05million US dollars.

Infantino joined the FIFA election race after UEFA president Michel Platini was banned over a payment received from outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Unlike Platini however, he favours increasing the use of technology in football. Goal-line technology is expected to be used in Euro 2016 and the Champions League from next season and he is also open to new developments.

His manifesto says: “FIFA shall start an open debate with all stakeholders on the further use of technology in the game.

“Proposals should be fully tested and the potential impact on the flow of the game should be studied in detail. Finally, this has to be an objective assessment based on the best interests of football.”

The International FA Board, the game’s law-making body, meets in March – it will be the first official visit for whoever is the new FIFA president – and is expected to approve trials of video assistance for referees.

Infantino has also proposed the idea of having a FIFA football ‘legends’ team playing matches in all the continents to promote the game and benefit “social projects and charitable aims.”

Published: Tuesday 19th January 2016 by The News Editor

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