June 25, 2018 13:12
President Moon Jae-in proposed to FIFA President Gianni Infantino that the two Koreas as well as China and Japan co-host the 2010 World Cup.
Moon and Infantino met on the sidelines of a Korea-Mexico game in Rostov-on-Don on Saturday in the ongoing World up in Russia amid fears that the next one will be the last World Cup any country is willing to host on its own.
Moon told Infantino his proposal for the two Koreas to co-host the World Cup, which he made during their previous meeting last year, "is becoming a reality."
Infantino said there have been many developments since then and promised to come to Korea soon to discuss the matter.
At their meeting in Seoul last year, Moon told Infantino that Northeast Asian countries co-hosting the World Cup would "contribute to peace in Northeast Asia."
Cheong Wa Dae believes warming cross-border relations make that prospect more attainable. A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "Just as the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang early this year served as an opportunity for inter-Korean rapprochement, the co-hosting of the 2030 World Cup could help bring peace in the region."
Big international sporting events are proving increasingly wasteful, with venues falling into disrepair the moment the extravaganza is over and creating grim wastelands on the edges of towns, while the economic benefits to the host country grow increasingly dubious.
The number of nations competing in the World Cup will rise from 32 to 48 in 2026, making sharing the burden between neighboring countries an increasingly attractive prospect. The 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar, which bought its win in a spectacular bribery scandal that brought the entire FIFA leadership down, but the 2026 World Cup will already be co-hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
For the 2030 World Cup, which marks the event's 100th anniversary, Northeast Asia would be competing against another group of would-be co-hosts, Argentina and Panama and Uruguay.
They have the edge because Uruguay hosted the first-ever World Cup and Asia already got its World Cup in Qatar.
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