The 2018 World Cup in Russia has been a far cry from the original vision of hosting a major sporting event for many years.
Now, with the tournament moving to the US and the Super Bowl the main draw, FIFA is considering a new version of the tournament that would feature more domestic games, including more than 100 domestic matches.
The proposal has been suggested by Russia’s football federation and its head of football development, Sergei Skvortsov, who was the host nation’s chief of sports at the World Cup last summer.
The 2018 World Cups were played in 2018, 2022 and 2022 in the US, which was chosen for hosting as the most suitable venue for the event because of its proximity to the United States and its strong relationship with the US government, including the Trump administration.
Russia is one of the main beneficiaries of hosting the event, which has drawn millions of visitors, mostly to the city of St Petersburg.
In 2018, the city hosted more than 50,000 spectators, according to the Russian government, which says it helped to provide 1.5 million meals to people.
A FIFA spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the new proposal was discussed in the Russian federation’s delegation to FIFA’s executive committee meeting in Zurich on Monday.
It will be submitted to FIFA by the end of June, the spokesman said.FIFA will discuss the proposal with Russia’s federation before deciding on the date, the spokesperson said.
In 2019, the United Nations’ special envoy for the region, Nickolay Mladenov, called for a new World Cup to be held in St Petersburg in order to prevent a similar disruption to the 2018 event.
In a report to the World Health Organisation, Mladenowd said the 2018 World Championships in St. Petersburg “caused significant disruption to health and social networks in the host city, as well as to the country as a whole.”FIFA is expected to release its response to the report in the coming days.