FIFA: No plans to change voting system

PARIS - FIFA is not considering reforms of the voting system for choosing World Cup hosts despite the controversy which surrounded the decision on the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Monday.

"We just voted last Thursday. We have not sat down to discuss a reform of the voting system. It is not part of our discussions at the moment", Valcke told the media.

On Thursday, the body's executive committee voted to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, prompting complaints that politics had played too large a part in the process.

"Yes, it is a political decision... But overall, I think reactions were positive. The decision was fairly well received by football fans. It shows that football is open to the world", Valcke added.

"Russia is a great footballing country and deserves it. And the Middle East is part of the family of football."

This year, the committee had been cut to 22 members from the usual 24 after two were suspended by the ethics committee following an investigation into corruption allegations made by a British newspaper.

"The 22 members were in a room with a lawyer and an official. Each one got up to vote with a ballot paper which had a stamp from the lawyer. It is normal that the vote be secret", he said.

"The matter is closed. We dealt very well with the two that were caught. We reacted well to the situation. The members were suspended. There is no need to be ashamed", Valcke added.

The next bidding process to chose who would stage the 2026 tournament would not take place before 2018, he added.