By Staff writer
FIFA vice-president Victor Montagliani says awarding key tournaments to Russia and Qatar has been the ‘best thing’ for football
Football has been given an opportunity to 'clean the game' thanks to the awarding of the next two World Cups to Russia and Qatar, according to FIFA vice-president Victor Montagliani.
Russia will host the next tournament in 2018 and Qatar the 2022 event, after both nations were awarded the tournaments in a controversial vote in December 2010.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed soon after his election earlier this year that events would go ahead as planned, stating that they will have to be “the best in history”.
Speaking this week at the Leaders in Sport conference in London, Montagliani said the subsequent controversies surrounding the awarding of the events to Russia and Qatar have meant that the world’s football governing body has been able to ‘clean the game’ for the better.
"If Russia and Qatar wouldn't have got these World Cups, would we be in this situation now with an opportunity to clean the game?
"I think that was the starting point and the tipping point for certain things to happen. If England and the US had got the World Cup, maybe we would've had status quo.
"I'm just wondering if the authorities that have stepped up their involvement in the game would've done that if the choices had been a bit different. Maybe the best thing that happened in football was Russia and Qatar."
Since the December 2010 awarding, corruption has been exposed in the global game, with then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter among those now banned.