|Fifa president Joseph Sepp Blatter rules out a return to
Africa or South America in 2018 [EPA]
Countries in South America and Africa have been ruled to be ineligible from hosting the 2018 World Cup.
“Of all five continents available to present, South America and Africa will not be allowed to,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter said.
“If we hadn’t taken the decision to have a rotation policy in the first place, Africa would never had had the chance to host the World Cup, neither would South America.”
Fifa’s executive committee scrapped the rotation policy in October after it led to South Africa being picked to host the 2010 event and Brazil for 2014.
Blatter called the new policy “more liberal”, but still a policy since continents will be unable to bid for the following two editions after hosting.
Blatter also said the joint bid of Netherlands-Belgium was the first to officially present its 2018 candidacy to Fifa.
The 2018 host will be selected at an executive committee meeting in 2011, with the United States, Mexico, Japan, China, Russia, Spain-Portugal, England and Australia all interested, according to Blatter.
No advances on technology
Blatter also said it wasn’t likely that a football with a computer chip would be in use by then either.
“We did a study and over the past 40 years there have been 42 cases. (The chip) is complicated and expensive … is it really worth changing things for what turns out to be one case per year?” Blatter said.
“The game will lose its fun and no longer be a talking point among fans.”
Though Hawk-Eye technology, as used in professional tennis, is also being discussed, Blatter said the game moved too quickly for that.
Instead, Blatter said refereeing should be improved, especially following match-fixing scandals in Germany, Italy and Brazil in recent years.
The Women’s Under-20 World Cup in Chile in November will take the first steps in testing whether two added assistants, with the purpose of monitoring the penalty area and offsides, can help so that the sport doesn’t have to rely on goal-line technology, Blatter said.
“Fifa’s rules are practically perfect,” he said.
“What is the problem with football today? It is not the rules, it is the refereeing.”
He also warned that the Spanish government’s interference in the Spanish Football Federation’s elections could lead to the country’s suspension from all Fifa-sponsored events, at the international and club level.