Russia and Qatar World Cups gave football 'opportunity to clean the game'

By PA Sport

05/10/2016 at 11:10Updated 05/10/2016 at 12:18

FIFA vice-president Victor Montagliani has suggested football might still be blighted by corruption if Russia and Qatar had not been chosen to host the next two World Cups.

Russia will host the next tournament in 2018 and Qatar the 2022 event, with both nations winning the right in a controversial vote almost six years ago.

Since the December 2010 awarding, corruption has been exposed in the global game, with then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter among those now banned.

Montagliani, speaking at the Leaders in Sport conference in London, said: "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.

Former FIFA President Sepp BlatterReuters

"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."

The Canadian Montagliani was elected CONCACAF president earlier this year, following the disgraced Jeffrey Webb as leader of North American, Central American and Caribbean football.

Former FIFA vice-president Jeffrey WebbPA Sport

CONCACAF has struggled with corruption perhaps more than any other of FIFA's six confederations, with Montagliani seeking to address the troubles and the image with the appointment of a first chief compliance officer and a potential re-naming of the organisation.

"No longer can a president or anyone else do things on a wink and a nod," Montagliani added.

"Right now [re-naming CONCACAF] is an idea. We're looking at it.

"As an organisation you always have to look to change. Your brand or your name should not be exclusive of that.

"Part of it is the history, but part of it is also can we maximise in terms of leveraging a new brand and a new name."

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