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Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter suggests USA could host 2022 World Cup amid Qatar charges

By Vincent Ashitey
Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter
Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter
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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has suggested that the United States could host the 2022 World Cup if the tournament is taken away from Qatar. 

Last week the U.S. Department of Justice issued an indictment charging that Russia and Qatar paid bribes in order to secure votes ahead of being awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

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Blatter, who is currently serving a six-year ban from football-related activities due to ethics violations from his time in charge, has also pleaded his innocence over the charges.

The United States are scheduled to host the 2026 tournament along with Mexico and Canada, but Blatter believes that they could host the 2022 tournament instead. 

According to the indictment, former Brazilian federation president Ricardo Teixeira, former CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz (who is now deceased) and a co-conspirator were given bribes to ensure their votes for Qatar. 

Blatter told Sport Bild: 'Germany could do it. But this would mean the World Cup being staged in Europe again after 2018.

'Europe therefore would not be first choice. The United States could do it instead of 2026. They are capable, it's not rocket science! Japan could also do it. They also bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

'Fortunately, the 2022 World Cup will only have 32 teams and not 48 as [FIFA president Gianni Infantino] had planned. The organisational effort would not be bigger than 2018.'

As Blatter states, the 2022 World Cup will have 32 teams, but it will be the last tournament to do so, with 48 nations set to participate in the 2026 World Cup.

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Should the United States host the 2022 World Cup as a replacement for Qatar it would create further problems for FIFA as they would then have to find new hosts for the 2026 World Cup.