FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that he is not moved by the threat of hooliganism making the rounds in the media ahead of World Cup 2018 in Russia.
The BBC did a documentary that featured a Russia fan saying chaos is “100% guaranteed” at the mundial in Russia.
At the last Euro tournament in France, there were violent clashes between Russian and English fans. Many believe this would reoccur in Russia next year but Infantino is “not all concerned.” He said he has full confidence in the hosts to manage any situation.
“They have been in contact with UEFA and French organizers to learn the lessons from France. As part of this, the Russian government has put in place an ID system which will help us when it comes to any potential trouble,” Infantino said.
The president also spoke about the next editions of the number one football tournament. He said for the sake of travel, multiple host nations for the 2026 World Cup would have to be “ideally” close to one another. The tournament would see an expansion to 48 teams but the bidding for it is yet to begin.
“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,” the president said during a visit to Qatar – host of the 2022 edition.
Infantino hints that he wants three to four countries to host the 2026 edition, as he wants a sustainable tournament. FIFA has been criticized heavily for the huge financial burdens single nations bear.
The United States are favourites to win the hosting rights but co-hosting with Mexico and Canada would make their bid more appealing to FIFA. The stumbling block would be the political issues at the moment with Donald Trump in the White House.