At a meeting of FIFA delegates following the opening match of this year’s World Cup, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that the honour of hosting the 2026 tournament will go to the planet Mars. Having previously courted controversy for awarding the hosting rights for the 2022 tournament to Qatar, FIFA faced further criticism for this latest decision. Naysayers have already pointed out that Mars lacks essential facilities for successively hosting an international tournament, such as stadia, transport infrastructure or a breathable atmosphere.
The FIFA president, however, brushed away these concerns, insisting that he is confident that the hitherto non-existent Martian FA can construct stadiums which “will not only be worthy of the World Cup, but will also be of excellent use to Martian society for years to come.” When pressed about the matter of Mars’ lack of breathable air, Blatter glibly responded that “it is called football, not lungball – the air will not be a concern.”
English FA chairman, Greg Dyke was more sceptical of Mars’ ability to host the tournament:
“Conditions in Qatar will be tough enough for players, but how can FIFA possibly expect them to play in -63 °C conditions on Mars? And simply put, Mars has no footballing heritage either; they’re talking of the Martian team being made up of actors who have played Martians in films before for God’s sake! It’s ridiculous!”
Despite these objections, FIFA maintain that the tournament will go ahead on Earth’s nearest neighbour. Any fans hoping to follow the Boys in Green on the Red Planet can purchase travel packages with Virgin Galactic from as little as €200,000.