By Matt Slater, Chief Reporter, Press Association Sport
Published: 16:06 BST, 5 June 2019 | Updated: 16:06 BST, 5 June 2019
British and Irish hopes of hosting the 2030 World Cup were plunged into doubt on Wednesday when FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he hoped the rules would be changed to let China bid, too.
Under the 'rotation' rules used for the most recent contest, countries from a confederation that has hosted one of the two previous World Cups are not allowed to bid.
With China's fellow Asian Football Confederation member Qatar staging the tournament in 2022, this would appear to rule out a bid from the world's most populous nation and second largest economy.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino welcomed the prospect of a World Cup bid in 2030 from China
Qatar's hosting in 2022 would normally rule out an Asian Confederation bidding for 2030
But speaking to reporters in Paris after his unopposed re-election as FIFA boss, Infantino confirmed the rumours that have been circulating in recent months: the regulations for 2030 could be ripped up, paving the way for a blockbuster bid from China.
Asked for an update on the rules and timeline for the bidding process, the Swiss-Italian said: 'I don't know because these decisions are taken by (FIFA's ruling) council and we will discuss this at our next meeting in October, which is in Shanghai.
'We'll put some marks down in terms of timing then...the next presidential election is in 2023, so the World Cup vote will be in 2022 or 2024.
'We'll also see if there can be a bid from China but, for me, the more, the merrier.'
It is widely believed that 2022 will be too soon to