FIFA suspends 2026 World Cup bidding amid scandal

A red card for FIFA's future bids

Bidding for the 2026 FIFA soccer World Cup has been suspended as corruption allegations engulf the organization.

The decision on which country would host the tournament was set to be made in Kuala Lumpur in May 2017, but the process has now been postponed, FIFA's Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, said a press conference on Wednesday.

Valcke's comments come after FIFA was plunged into crisis last month when Swiss authorities arrested several FIFA officials on behalf of the U.S. authorities on allegations of corruption and bribery.

As part of the probe, the FBI is looking into the process by which Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

Valcke was speaking at a news conference in the Russian city of Samara, one of the 2018 World Cup venues. At the event, Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, said the country's bid for the tournament was lawful and he did not see it being taken away.

The U.S. is seen as the hot favourite to win the 2026 World Cup tournament, while Canada, Mexico and Colombia are also intending to bid. There is also speculation that England could throw its hat into the ring now that Sepp Blatter has stepped down as FIFA President.

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