Infantino backs Korean bid for women's World Cup

LONDON • Gianni Infantino, the president of world football governing body Fifa, has raised the prospect of North and South Korea co-hosting the next women's World Cup in 2023.

The move would be a huge statement in terms of cooperation between two nations that have been deeply divided for the past 70 years. There have also been discussions about a possible joint Olympic bid for the 2032 Games.

Speaking at the International FA Board meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland, Infantino said: "I have been hearing for the women's World Cup in 2023, the two Koreas. I have been hearing it would be great. It would show the power of football. They have been in a very, very difficult situation."

He revealed that a bid by an Asian country for the men's 2030 World Cup could not be completely ruled out even though Qatar, which is part of the Asian confederation, is hosting in 2022.

Traditionally, Fifa's rotation rules have meant a 12-year gap before a confederation can host a World Cup again. There have been suggestions that China could bid for 2030, although it is more likely to wait until 2034.

A joint British and Ireland bid for 2030 is being considered, while a South American bid involving Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile has been launched.

"Generally, the more bidders we have, the better it is," the Swiss-Italian said. "I am so happy that we made a bidding process for the 2026 World Cup which was the first one in the history of the World Cup which has not been overshadowed by any scandal.

"We did it in a transparent and professional way, and we will take four years before we decide the 2030 World Cup, so we will have time to discuss all these topics."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2019, with the headline 'Infantino backs Korean bid for women's World Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe