(Bloomberg) -- Football’s global governing body opened the door to potentially moving its headquarters from Zurich, while stressing that it’s “happy” for now having its main office in Switzerland.

By a vote of 202 to 4, delegates at FIFA’s annual assembly in Bangkok approved a raft of statutes, including a new clause that stipulates that Zurich is the headquarters until members decide otherwise. 

It’s unclear if this might one day mean a move out of the city to the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where many of the world’s biggest sporting federations are headquartered, including UEFA and the International Olympic Committee, or outside the country altogether.

“There are many sports and international organizations that have their headquarters in Geneva and Lausanne, but until our members decide otherwise, Zurich remains our headquarters,” a FIFA spokesperson told DPA. “We are considering opening branches in other locations in Switzerland and thus expanding our presence in the country.”

FIFA has already shown signs of decentralizing some of its decision-making, with offices in other cities including Paris. Last year, it signed a deal for 60,000-square feet of office space in Miami for planning the 2026 World Cup being jointly hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico. 

Read more: Miami Enclave to Become US Soccer Hub With FIFA, Messi Deal 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has also pledged to continue a push by his predecessor to bring the World Cup to new markets. Qatar hosted the tournament in 2022 and it’s set to return to the region in 2034. It’s all but certain that Saudi Arabia will host that year because of restrictions on what regions can bid for the tournament.

Asked about an appeal by the Palestinian football association to sanction Israel from international football, Infantino said he would take independent legal advice to consider the matter.

Palestine Appeal

“Palestine is a full member of FIFA, like any of the other 210 members of FIFA, with exactly the same rights and exactly the same obligations, like any other country,” he said. 

Infantino said he was “extremely shocked by” both Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, and by what is happening now in Gaza.

FIFA delegates also picked Brazil to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, an event for which TV viewership and stadium attendance has soared. Brazil received 119 votes, ahead of a joint bid from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany that garnered 78.

(Update with awarding of women’s world cup and Infantino comments on Palestine in last four graphs)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.