Gulati Seeking Changes to World Cup Host Selection Process Ahead of 2026 Bid


U.S. Soccer President and FIFA Executive Committee member Sunil Gulati says the World Cup bidding process is need of changes in light of the continuing controversy surrounding the decision to award Qatar with the 2022 World Cup. FIFA selected Qatar as the 2022 host ahead of Australia, Japan and South Korea and the U.S., despite a report indicating Qatar would present a “potential health risk” for players and fans due the temperatures during the tournament’s normal time frame.

Gulati commented on the situation at the Leaders in Football conference held in London earlier this week,

Is it something we’d like to do in the future? Sure, but I think the rules need to change.

The comments are directed towards the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup. Previously, FIFA has been intent on awarding the World Cup to nations in order to foster the supporter for and development of domestic professional soccer leagues. Gulati added,

If it’s a critical issue to host the tournament in new lands then let us know and we won’t bother.

No decision has been made regarding the timing of the 2022 World Cup and whether it will be moved to the Winter. A decision is expected after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Reporting on the business side of the world's game.