FIFA postpones start of ’26 World Cup bidding

Associated Press

Samara, Russia — FIFA has suspended the 2026 World Cup bidding process amid a widening corruption scandal implicating previous bid contests.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says it would be “nonsense” to begin the process now.

FIFA planned to write to its 209 member federations this week to explain the bidding timetable and rules. The 2026 host is expected to be chosen by the 209 members at their May 2017 meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Potential bidders include the United States, Mexico, Canada and countries from Europe.

Valcke spoke at a news conference with Russian organizers of the 2018 World Cup, and defended his role in alleged bribes paid by South Africa during the 2010 bidding contest.