HASH(0xb41970)

FIFA boosts China’s hopes of hosting 2030 World Cup

FIFA boosts China's hopes of hosting 2030 World Cup

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — China’s hopes of hosting the 2030 World Cup got a boost from FIFA.

The governing body of soccer proposes giving its ruling council the power to decide that a continent could skip just one World Cup before hosting again.

In a legal text published Wednesday ahead of next week’s FIFA Congress in Bahrain, the governing body said the flexibility in hosting would be allowed “if circumstances so require.” That could let China bid to host the 2030 World Cup only eight years after Qatar.

Other proposed changes to FIFA’s legal rules include concentrating more decision-making powers in the FIFA Bureau — President Gianni Infantino and the six presidents of the continental confederations — without needing to be ratified by the 37-member FIFA Council.

Infantino could also get more authority to create and appoint working groups to “prepare the topics” for council meetings.

One such future debate could be opening up a 2030 World Cup hosting contest in which South America should start as favourite. The centenary World Cup is expected to bring a co-hosting bid that includes Uruguay, the original tournament host in 1930.

Still, Chinese firms have targeted FIFA, including property and cinema giant Dalian Wanda Group, which last year signed a top-tier sponsorship through 2030.

“As a partner of FIFA, Wanda will be better placed to play a role in the bidding process to host major football events such as the World Cup,” Wanda said in March 2016.

FIFA imposed the two-tournament block last October, barring European members from 2026 World Cup bidding because Russia is hosting in 2018. That favoured the North American co-hosting bid by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Now, FIFA wants to formalize an amendment to its statutes when members meet on May 11 in Manama.

“In principle … the event shall not be awarded to members of the confederations that hosted the two previous editions,” the proposed text says, though adding: “If circumstances so require, the Council may decide otherwise in accordance with the applicable regulations.”

A further tweak of FIFA rules next week could see a change in lineup for the three-person panel which decides the salary of Infantino and other top FIFA officials, plus payments to council members.

FIFA proposes replacing an independent financial expert on the panel with the chair of its governance committee, currently Portuguese lawyer Miguel Maduro.

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula French Immersion grads welcome new students

School District 63 ceremony marks student transition

Former Green candidate Veronica Greer running for seat on Esquimalt council

2017 B.C. election hopeful looks to bring LGBTQ lens to municipal politics

Celebrate Earth Day with Surfrider

Beach cleanup and social gathering Sunday at Clover Point

Green Team tackles weeds in North Saanich

Greater Victoria group working to connect people with local green groups

Sooke to host Western Canada’s first all-female boxing card

58 fighters from across North America to be featured at April 28 and 29 event

New play examines Indigenous identity

Belfry Theatres Salt Baby coming to Victoria April 17 - May 13

B.C. towns rank in top honeymoon destination worldwide

Vernon, Kaslo, Sunshine Coast and the Island hit Expedia.ca’s list of top 18 honeymoon destinations

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becoming viral video

Olympic gold now official for B.C. weightlifter

Christine Girard’s bronze medal from 2012 Olympics upgraded to gold, IOC announces

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, debate hasn’t quit

Om April 21, 1918 two Canadians in their canvas-covered Sopwith Camel biplanes engaged the enemy

VIDEO: Canadian teen lands invite to Royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited Faith Dickinson, founder of Cuddles for Cancer

B.C. liquor server wage to be phased out by 2021

Piece work pay for farm workers rises, but stays in place for now

Vancouver Whitecaps sign 16-year-old B.C. player

Grade 10 student from Langley joins MLS club

Most Read