Israel, UAE could co-host 2030 World Cup with other nations

Fifa has raised the prospect of Israel co-hosting a future World Cup, with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office mentioning the possibility of a bid for the 2030 men's tournament.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who completed a two-day visit to Israel on Tuesday by meeting Bennett and President Isaac Herzog, said a joint bid would be expected when asked about the possibility of Israel hosting a major Fifa event.

"In recent months, I was in Dubai, where the UAE Football Association and the Israel Football Association have signed an historic agreement," he said in a Fifa statement. "I think that co-hosting is the future..."

In a statement, Bennett's office said that in his talks with Infantino, "the Fifa president raised the idea that Israel would host the World Cup in 2030, together with other countries in the region, led by the United Arab Emirates".

The brief statement said Steven Mnuchin, former Secretary of the Treasury under previous US president Donald Trump, was present at the meeting, along with the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

The Trump administration initiated the 2020 "Abraham Accords", which saw several Arab countries, namely the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, normalise their relations with Israel.

Next year's World Cup will be hosted in Qatar from Nov 21 to Dec 18.

The United States, Mexico and Canada are co-hosting the 2026 World Cup. Fifa plans to select the 2030 host in 2024.

Separately, Fifa's chief of global football development Arsene Wenger said there is a strong chance that offside calls will be automated by next year.

Speaking in Paris on Tuesday, the former Arsenal manager added: "I'm bound to secrecy, but it will be the next big development in refereeing." - AFP