Ex-FIFA chief Blatter slams decision for World Cup in six countries


Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has criticised the decision of the governing body to hold the World Cup in six countries across three continents.

Morocco, Spain and Portugal were named hosts of the 2030 tournament, while Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will also host the opening matches to mark the tournament’s centenary, FIFA said in a surprise announcement on Wednesday.

The decision was criticised by Sepp Blatter, who was FIFA President from 1998 to 2015, before being forced out after a corruption investigation.

“It is absurd to tear the tournament apart in this way,” Blatter told Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick.

“The World Cup finals must be a compact event,” he said, adding this was important for the identity of the event, for the organisation and for visitors.

FIFA has said the vast majority of games would be held in Morocco, Portugal and Spain, reducing the environmental impact of the tournament.

“For 101 games, the tournament will be played in a footprint of neighbouring countries in close geographic proximity and with extensive and well developed transport links and infrastructure,” Fifa said.

“Three games will take place in South America, also in neighbouring countries in close geographic proximity to mark the 100th year of the tournament.”

Blatter has previously criticised FIFA for awarding the 2022 tournament to Qatar, saying the Middle East country was too small.

The 87-year-old said the 2030 tournament should take place in South America, marking the 100th anniversary of the first event which was hosted and won by Uruguay.

“For historical reasons, the 2030 World Cup should have belonged exclusively in South America,” he told the newspaper.

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