Fifa’s president Gianni Infantino was part of a plan for Morocco to join Spain and Portugal in a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup, according to leaked messages published in the Spanish media.
A WhatsApp message from Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, to the Spanish FA president, Luis Rubiales, in 2018 and published by El Confidencial said that “both you and Infantino proposed the idea to me that I praised”.
The leak raises questions over Infantino apparently being closely involved in certain bids. Fifa has insisted its bidding process will be “fair and transparent”, but it declined to comment on the report, citing the fact that it was based on leaked or hacked information.
The plan to include Morocco has since foundered and Spain and Portugal are now set to bid alone for 2030. Uefa has said it does not support bids involving other confederations.
The other expected bid is from South America, with Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile bidding jointly and hoping the fact it will be the centenary of the first World Cup — held in Uruguay — will help them land the tournament.