FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told Bloomberg the organization did "nothing wrong" in how it distributed television rights for the 2026 World Cup.
Fox was initially slated to have broadcasting rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments after winning the bidding war in 2011.
In a surprise move, FIFA announced in February that it was going to be extending Fox's rights to the World Cup through 2026.
"We have done nothing wrong. The deal is good for FIFA, the deal is good for Fox" Valcke said. "That’s the most important part, and we have done everything which is in line with international standards."
The move was news to many, including ESPN's Bob Ley.
The rescheduling of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was a talking point for both Fox and FIFA, according to Bloomberg:
Fox had questioned FIFA's proposal to reschedule the event to protect athletes and spectators from Qatar’s hot summer. The broadcaster said it had bought the rights in the knowledge the tournament would be played in summer months as it has been since the first event in 1930.
The specifics of the deal have yet to be announced, but Bloomberg reports that the fee will be even higher if the U.S. hosts the 2026 World Cup.
- Erick Fernandez