Infantino with proposal for 2030: FIFA boss wants World Cup in Israel and Emirates

According to Israeli sources, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has proposed a World Cup in Israel and other countries in the region for 2030. These should be led by the United Arab Emirates, said the office of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after a joint meeting. It was therefore the first visit of the President of the World Football Association to Israel.

Earlier on Tuesday, Infantino replied to the question of the possibility of a World Cup in Israel at a conference of the “Jerusalem Post” that “nothing is impossible”. “You have to have visions, dreams and ambitions,” emphasized the 51-year-old, referring to the normalization process between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. “So co-hosting is an option.”

The South American countries Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile are also planning a joint application for the tournament in nine years. The four British associations are also preparing a candidacy together with Ireland, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in the spring. Portugal and Spain had already officially registered their interest, and China is also considered a possible applicant.

The tournament is scheduled to be awarded in 2024. After the World Cup in Qatar in winter 2022, the 2026 World Cup will take place in the USA, Canada and Mexico for the first time with 48 nations. FIFA recently brought up the idea of ​​holding the World Cup every two years from 2028, but these plans had met with sharp criticism in Europe and South America.

Israel signed diplomatic relations agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September last year. Previously, only two Arab states, the neighboring countries Egypt and Jordan, had diplomatic relations with Israel.

The two Gulf states abandoned the decades-long line of Arab states to refuse relations with Israel until the conflict with the Palestinians is resolved. Israel and the Emirates expect economic benefits from their rapprochement, but above all forge an alliance against their common archenemy Iran. Israel is at war with its two neighboring states, Syria and Lebanon.