World football’s ruling body FIFA will get rid of local World Cup organizing committees and take full control over tournaments’ organisation starting in 2026, according to FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura.
“We will organise the 2026 World Cup on our own,” Samoura said in an interview published Wednesday in Russia’s Vedomosti business daily.
She added that the current system, which mandates local committees with organizing the World Cups hosted by their countries, would go under reforms mid-way between the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
The next two World Cups will not be affected by the changes.
“We don’t want to have to create a new structure from scratch (for every World Cup),” Samoura said, stressing that this process was “difficult and costly”.
“We want to have a permanent professional team that will have all competences like organisation and combine this experience with local know-how.”
Samoura said the move was meant to increase “control and effectiveness”, with local organising committees having come under scrutiny in the past over delays in infrastructure projects.
She confirmed that FIFA was also considering taking over the World Cup ticket programme.
A roadmap published by FIFA in October 2016 said the association would “change the current model to take more direct control of critical business operations, including FIFA World Cup ticketing and FIFA World Cup organising activities”.
Russia is set to host the next World Cup in 11 cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi.