Fifa crisis: World Cup 2026 bidding process suspended, says general secretary Jerome Valcke

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Fifa secretary Jerome Valcke (Source: Getty)

Fifa has suspended the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup, according to secretary general Jerome Valcke.

The bidding process for the 2026 tournament which is due to be awarded at the 2017 Fifa Congress in Kuala Lumpur, will now be postponed as Fifa wrestles with the fallout of the US Department of Justice investigation into its alleged corruption and president Sepp Blatter's resignation.

Valcke gave no indication of when the bidding process, originally supposed to start next year, would officially begin.

Canada, Mexico and Colombia have all announced their intention to bid for the 2026 event, while the USA, England and Australia may also make renewed attempts after missing out in 2018 and 2022.

Read more: Cameron to bring Fifa corruption into centre stage at G7 summit

Valcke was speaking at a press conference for the 2018 World Cup in Russia which, like the 2022 tournament in Qatar, has come under scrutiny for the way it was won amidst allegations of kickbacks for votes.

The DoJ confirmed it was looking at the bidding process for the two tournaments last week as part of its investigation into Fifa. Both countries maintain they have done nothing wrong.

At today's press conference Russian prime minister Vitaly Mutko said his bid was in line with the law and that there was no threat of the country being stripped of the tournament.

Update: Fifa issued the following statement on the matter this morning

It was decided to place the administrative process on hold for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ bidding due to the current situation.
Further decisions regarding the 2026 FIFA World Cup bidding process will discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee at a later date.

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