FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani spoke at the eleventh Dubai International Sports Conference, held in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai on December 27 and 28, 2016.
Montagliani joined FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, in the global conference’s main session focused on the importance of governance in the success of international and continental football bodies.
“Football deserves good people, we have a responsibility not just with our region but with the game,” said Montagliani, who spoke before an audience of executives, local football clubs officials, and experts in the field.
“Through our ONE CONCACAF Vision, we are building what we must cherish as a Confederation built on human values of compassion, transparency and understanding, and not one that emphasizes regionalism, which has led to intolerance and mistrust in the past. It is only with a united spirit that we can develop a solid foundation for sustainable growth,” he added.
The President shared his views on the proposal to expand the FIFA World Cup from its 32-team format and the possibilities of a joint bid for the 2026 tournament. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of preserving the human element in the game when considering adopting technology like the Video Assistant Referees (VARs), a system that supports the decision-making ability of the referee.
“Our region is prepared to host the 2026 World Cup. The door is wide open for a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The three countries are very strong and have the capabilities and facilities to host a tournament of this magnitude,” said Montagliani, adding that further discussions need to take place with those nations that may bid for the World Cup.
At the conference, the President received a special recognition from His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee.
During his visit to Dubai, Montagliani attended the seventh edition of the Globe Soccer Awards on Tuesday, where Real Madrid was recognized as the Best Club of the Year, while Florentino Perez and Cristiano Ronaldo received the awards for Best President and Best Player of the Year. The ceremony was attended by sports personalities like former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, Portugal's Euro 2016-winning coach Fernando Santos and English referee Mark Clattenburg, who received awards. Salvadoran referee Joel Antonio Aguilar was nominated for the Best Referee of the Year.
Football remains at the center of Montagliani’s vision in the evolution of CONCACAF. He is focused on the continued growth of key areas, such as: Good governance, successful strategic planning for competitions and commercial partnerships, investment in football development and infrastructure, as well as strong leadership.