FIFA encouraging co-hosting bids for 2026 World Cup: 'We have to think sustainability long-term'

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino says he intends to encourage co-hosting for the 2026 soccer World Cup, that could bring together three or four countries with four or five stadiums each.

FIFA World Cup trophy

Source: Photosport

Speaking during a visit to Qatar, which will be hosting the 2022 tournament, Infantino also said he was "not at all concerned" about hooliganism at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"We will encourage co-hosting for the World Cup because we need FIFA to show we are reasonable and we have to think about sustainability long-term," Infantino said.

"It is perfectly in line with our sustainability and legacy to maybe bring together two, three, four countries who can jointly present a project with three, four, five stadiums each.

"We will certainly encourage it. Ideally the countries will be close to each other for the sake of ease of travel," he added.

On the topic of hooligans, Infantino was speaking after several Russian hooligan gangs made explicit threats to England supporters heading to Russia next year for the World Cup.

One hooligan, known as Denis and the leader of the 'Orel Butchers' group that was at the centre of the violence between the nations at Euro 2016 in France last year, said tactics honed domestically gave them the upper hand over England fans.

"There is some street-fight tactics that we obviously exercised a lot of times fighting in cities," he said.

Speaking of next year's World Cup, he added: "They can come over and we'll see.

"Somebody will obviously try to do something, that is like 100 per cent - 100 per cent guaranteed.

"Have a family and children around you or something ... if you are there with your male friend you should calculate on getting your arse kicked."

Another hooligan known as Vasily the Killer was quoted in Britain's Guardian newspaper alleging that the Euro 2016 violence - which left two England fans in a critical condition in hospital - was sanctioned by the Kremlin.

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