Bidding for 2026 World Cup must be bullet-proof : Infantino

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[May 14, 2016]  By Brian Homewood
 MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The 2026 World Cup bidding process must be "bullet-proof" after the controversy which has surrounded the hosting of the next two tournaments, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Friday.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino attends a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/Files

"It is absolutely crucial for FIFA's credibility that we have a bullet-proof bidding process in place for 2026," he told the annual Congress of world soccer's governing body.

"There will be a new strategy and consultation phase starting from now, because we have to get it right."

On Tuesday, FIFA announced a four-stage bidding process for the 2026 tournament with a final decision in May 2020.

FIFA was forced to make changes to the way it awards the hosting rights after the vote in December 2010 awarded the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively.

That vote is the subject of a criminal investigation by Swiss authorities, while Qatar's preparations have also been marred by allegations of abuse of migrant workers in the construction industry.

Qatar says it is working to deal with the issue.

"These matters don't get solved with a fight or threats, they get solved with dialogue and convictions," said Infantino. "We have to convince governments to do the right things."

Infantino added that he planned to separate divisions in FIFA to deal with soccer and business matters.

"We need to create more efficiency, more effective cost-management in FIFA," he said.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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