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13th Oct 2021

FIFA President open to World Cup co-hosted by Israel and Palestine

Callum Boyle

“Why can’t we dream of the World Cup in Israel and its neighbours?”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino hasn’t ruled out the possibility of hosting a World Cup in Israel, with Palestine and the surrounding Middle Eastern countries around them.

Infantino made his first official appearance in Israel as president this week – the first of any head of footballing governing body to do so – with plans to make the World Cup a biennial tournament one of the hot topics which has seen backlash from players and supporters.

The 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico, will be the first time that the tournament will see 48 teams qualify for the finals.

Infantino was also  asked whether he could see Israel co-hosting a World Cup in the future and the president seemed relatively optimistic about the chances.

According to the Athletic, he said: “Why can’t we dream of the World Cup in Israel and its neighbours?” he asked.

“With the Abraham Accords, why should we not do it here in Israel with her neighbours in the Middle East and the Palestinians?”

The Abraham Accords are a set of normalisation agreements that Israel has set in place with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, which were signed last year.

Israel have plans to apply to host the upcoming 2030 World Cup with fellow nations, with the UAE the most notable of the names suggested.

But despite Infantino’s hopes it seems incredibly unlikely that Israel would co-host a tournament with Palestine and the surrounding nations.

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