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Infantino open to the idea of multi-host World Cups

Gianni Infantino is open to the possibility of several countries hosting future World Cups. The FIFA president says the expansion of the tournament from 2026 makes co-hosting an attractive proposition.

Speaking in Qatar following a FIFA executive summit meeting on Thursday, Infantino said that the chance to put in a joint bid for future tournaments opened up the possibility of hosting the tournament to more countries.

"We need FIFA to show we are reasonable and we have to think about sustainability long-term.

"If you think about the World Cup and the requirements we are putting on countries there are really only a few countries in the world that can comply.

"It is perfectly in line with our sustainability and legacy to maybe bring together two, three, four countries who can jointly present a project with three, four, five stadiums each."

To date, the 2002 World Cup, hosted by Japan and South Korea is the only global tournament not to have been hosted by a single country. Euro 2020, organized by UEFA, will have 13 host cities across 13 different European countries to celebrate the tournament's 50th anniversary.

Deutschland vs Brasilien 30.06.2002 (picture-alliance/ASA)

The 2002 World Cup was held in Japan and South Korea

As with the 2002 World Cup, Infantino said he would prefer hosting countries to be geographically close, which may increase speculation about a joint North American bid for 2026.

But Infantino played down suggestions that FIFA was about to scrap the offside rule, following controversial remarks by its technical director Marco van Basten.

"We discuss and debate everything, the offside rule, sin bins as punishments, additional substitutions, but these are discussions that are still far, far, far away from any concrete proposals," he said.

mp/jh (Reuters/AFP)

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