Kazakhs set for World Cup bid

The oil-rich country is already bidding against Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Almaty and is now in discussions over a possible bid for the World Cup four years later.

Kazakhstan FA president Yerlan Kozhagapanov is quoted in French newspaper L’Equipe as saying: “We are discussing this issue with the government of my country to assess what are our chances.

“Our country is developing rapidly, our economy is growing, so why not? We want to organise the winter Games in 2022, and we plan to engage in the race for the organisation of the World Cup 2026.”

Kazakhstan, which has a population of 17m, is part of the UEFA confederation which may prove a stumbling block for 2026.

Asian confederation countries will be excluded from bidding as Qatar is hosting the 2022 tournament, and it may be that European countries are also excluded as Russia is hosting 2018.

FIFA’s executive committee will decide on the 2026 bidding rules on May 30, and the 209 associations will vote at the FIFA Congress in May 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.

The United States is the early favourite to be named as host nation while Canada and Mexico have confirmed their intention to launch a bid with Colombia also though to be in the running.

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