US, Canada, Mexico launch joint 2026 World Cup bid

Sunil Gulati, left, President of the United States Soccer Federation, Decio de Maria, center, President of the Mexican Football Federation, and Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association, hold a news conference, Monday, April 10, 2017, in NY.

The United States, Mexico and Canada are going to announce a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup on Monday, people familiar with the decision said.

"The United States, Mexico and Canada have individually demonstrated their exceptional abilities to host world-class events", Gulati said. It would mark the return to Mexico after 40 years and the first plunge into Canada, which successfully ran the 2015 Women's World Cup and an under-20 men's World Cup.

The US was the last North American nation to host the World Cup.

Argentina and Uruguay have already expressed their interest in co-hosting the 2030 World Cup.

Gulati emphasized the warm relationship between the three countries and said that politics had not entered into the decision to make a joint bid.

Infantino has warned that nations considering bidding for the World Cup must allow any team who qualifies, and their supporters, access to the country.

Morocco and Algeria have reportedly mulled official bids for 2026 and could challenge the North American bid should either broker an adequate voting alliance.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have settled on an unprecedented answer to that question: just combine forces.

The South American nation is hungry to host the cup after winning the bid in 1986 but seeing it moved to Mexico due to economic reasons. Only one previous World Cup - the 2002 tournament shared by South Korea and Japan - has had multiple hosts.

U.S. and Mexico have previously hosted the tournament separately, with the United States doing so in 1994 and Mexico staging 1970 and 1986.

The 2026 tournament will be the first of the expanded format.

Would FIFA be willing to award three automatic berths, including one to Canada, which in all likelihood, will not have qualified for the tournament since 1986? This will be three years later than scheduled because of corruption allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russian Federation and Qatar.

The three largest countries in CONCACAF are coming together in hopes of bringing world soccer's biggest event to their part of the globe. While he did not specify exactly when, it's not that far of a leap to suggest that they were spurred in part from US Soccer's experience bidding for the 2022 World Cup- ultimately awarded to Qatar- and the realization of a strong anti-American voting bloc in Federation Internationale de Football Association. "The president of the United States is fully supportive and encouraged us to have this joint bid", added Gulati.

What about that wall Donald Trump wants to build on the U.S.

Details of the host cities for 2026 are yet to be announced but the US portion of the bid will rely on the gleaming stadiums opened by the National Football League in the past two decades. It would make sense, but there's never been a successful three-country bid before, so who knows.

In some ways, the growth of soccer in Canada hinges on the success of the mega-bid, which will be voted on by or before 2020.

FIFA's Congress of all members decided on World Cup hosts through the 1982 tournament, but the power was then given to its ruling executive committee of about two dozen members.

  • Leroy Wright