UEFA president Michel Platini has said that he believes the 2022 World Cup could be shared by Qatar with other countries in the region.
“The World Cup is Qatar's but I think maybe it could be the World Cup of the Gulf,” he said, without naming potential co-hosts.
Although Qatar bid to stage the World Cup on its own, the Frenchman said he did not see any problem in making changes to the tournament once the decision had been made.
“When we held the World Cup in 1998, we made lots of changes to the original plan,” he said.
Platini, who is also a member of the FIFA executive committee which chose Russia as 2018 hosts, reiterated that soccer's governing body had been right to take the tournament to new regions.
The Frenchman has already said he would be happy to see the tournament staged in January or February rather than June.
Players and coaches have expressed concern about conditions in the Middle East summer even though Qatar has promised to build air-conditioned stadiums.
Platini said he could not explain why England had only received two out of 22 votes in the 2018 contest and Australia only one in the 2022 contest.
“I don't know, people made a choice...it's like going into a restaurant,” he said. “You can choose beef, fish, chicken or veal, but you can't always explain why you choose one and not the other.”
Platini, who will stand unopposed to retain the presidency of UEFA in 2015, shrugged when asked if he intended to run for FIFA presidency. “How can I talk about being president of FIFA when I want to be president of UEFA until 2015,” he said.