US, Mexico and Canada to make joint bid for 2026 World Cup

CONCACAF said the countries will be making a'historic announcement on Monday
CONCACAF said the countries will be making a'historic announcement on Monday
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11 April, 2017

Gulati said a formal plan will depend on FIFA's structure of the tournament, but suggested opening rounds would see teams stick to the same region, such as the East or West coasts.

CONCACAF is in line to receive six qualification areas for the enlarged World Cup, meaning just three automatic locations would remain accessible in the event the US, Canada and Mexico are succesful.

According to Gulati, the bid will include 60 games to be played in the United States and 10 each for Mexico and Canada. Gulati said at the announcement in NY that the US would host 60 games - including every game from the quarterfinals on - while 10 each are played in Mexico and Canada.

The 2026 tournament, whose host is due to be decided by Federation Internationale de Football Association in 2020, will be the first using FIFA's expanded format.

The bid was announced at the top of the Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan by the heads of the three countries' football federations. Gulati indicated that officials expected all three host nations to be granted places.

It could also pose political challenges, given that tensions have risen between the United States and Mexico, since the election of US President Donald Trump, who has called for a wall to be built along the Mexican border.

But Gulati said that President Trump is "supportive" of the bid and had "encouraged" it. So far no other countries have announced plans for a 2026 bid. We're not at all concerned about some of the other issues that some people may raise.

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Asked whether Mexico in particular, which hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, wanted to hold more matches, Gulati said: "I think it's safe to say both countries would have liked to host more". The U.S. has not hosted any World Cup action since 1994.

"We have a unique opportunity to be the first country to host three World Cups".

"As such we are filled with pride and committed to make it the best ever".

Fifa's executive committee is no longer responsible for the final say on which country is awarded a World Cup. Brazil in South America hosted in 2014 and South Africa was the site of the 2010 event. The only natural grass facility in Canada suitable for a World Cup match is Toronto's MLS stadium.

But when the tournament expanded from 32 to 48 teams - beginning in 2026 - the competition likely became too big for Canada to host the event alone.

The United States, Canada and Mexico have confirmed they are launching a joint-bid to host the first 48-team World Cup in 2026.

But, barring that, CONCACAF - the North and Central American governing body, which also includes the Caribbean and a few South American countries - is believed to be due for an edition of the world's most popular sports event, which rotates between the continents.


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