FIFA president Gianni Infantino admits trying to host World Cup in North Korea


Gianni Infantino claims that he once tried to convince North Korea to jointly host the Women’s World Cup with South Korea. The Swiss-born FIFA boss answered wide-ranging questions on the eve of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, with questions remaining over the host nation’s suitability for football’s biggest international tournament. 

Many believe that Qatar’s human rights record and attitude to issues such as homosexuality make this year’s World Cup a problematic one. Some, half-jokingly, have suggested that the next tournament could be held in the one-party dictatorship of North Korea. 

In a striking press conference on Saturday, during which Infantino delivered a number of eyebrow-raising remarks, he claimed that a North Korean World Cup wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility. During a friendly visit to the country several years ago, he admits to having inquired about the possibility of a joint venture with neighbours South Korea. 

“I actually went to North Korea some years ago to ask the North Koreans if they were ready to host part of a Women’s World Cup together with South Korea,” Infantino told reporters. “I was not successful, obviously.”

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