New WC bidding rules planned
Posted: 7 October 2008 Time: 9:44 am
Fifa president Sepp Blatter will propose new World Cup bidding rules that will dash US hopes of hosting the 2018 tournament, but put the Americans in prime position to stage soccer’s showcase event in 2022.
Blatter yesterday said he wants to avoid the World Cup staying in the Americas after Brazil stages it in 2014. He said there were enough strong candidates to organise the world’s biggest sports event in 2018, that some countries should be spilled over into the 2022 bidding process.
“There are so many that I will propose to the executive committee that we shall open the bid for 2018 and 2022 and try to channel the different bidders,” Blatter said at the European parliament.
“For instance, we are now in the Americas for 2014 and we know that the USA, Mexico - they will be candidates,” adding they would be excluded because of their continental proximity.
Instead, chances are that the World Cup would return to Europe in the wake of the highly successful edition in Germany two years ago.
“You know there is a wish and a will that every third World Cup shall come back to Europe.”
Blatter also said that he is upset by the wave of foreign ownership in the English Premier League.
“Something is wrong here,” he said.
Seven Premier League clubs are in the hands of foreign owners: Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Manchester City and Fulham.
A senior British government official has urged the Football Association to tighten regulations over buyers.
Blatter realises he has limited influence in national legislation.
“I don’t have a remedy,” he said.
Last year, leading soccer officials said such ownership brought a new edge to the league. Blatter says the matter has gotten out of hand.
“It is not only American investors who have come in,” he said. “Arab investors are coming. We have seen one investor from Thailand - he is going back.”
“Now,” he added, “you sell a team like you buy a shirt or whatever.”