FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Wednesday he would welcome a Chinese bid to stage the 2030 World Cup after the country was named to host the Asian Cup in 2023.
Qatar will host the 2022 finals, before a joint North American tournament in 2026 in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Bids from South America and Europe, including potentially from Britain and Ireland, have been mooted for what should be a 48-team competition in 2030.
“For me, as FIFA president, the more the merrier. The more bidders we have the happier I am,” said Infantino shortly after being re-elected by acclamation for a second term as president at the FIFA Congress in Paris.
In the past, it has been FIFA policy for the different continents to take turns hosting the finals, and Infantino even said he wasn’t sure if a Chinese bid would be considered for 2030, just eight years after it goes to Qatar.
However, China’s football fan President, Xi Jinping, has stated his aim for the country to stage the showpiece one day, with 2030 and 2034 often mentioned as possibilities. It was announced as the host of the 2023 Asian Cup on Tuesday.
“We will discuss it in the coming months, including at the next FIFA Council in October in Shanghai, and there we will put down some markers in terms of timing and so on,” Infantino said.
When asked when a decision would be taken on 2030, he replied: “The next presidential election is in 2023 so I guess it will be in 2022 or 2024, and we will see if China can bid.