USA, Mexico & Canada Announce Joint Bid for 2026 World Cup
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 11, 2017,
Apr 11, 2017, 2:46
The United States, Mexico and Canada are "aiming" to overcome political uncertainty and bid together this year to host the 2026 World Cup, CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani has said. Here's what to know. On Thursday, it was reported that the trio would submit a joint bid.
Though Montagliani said a joint, three-country bid would be a good "fit", he acknowledged that no decision has been made, and probably will not be made until the end of the year.
Argentina and Uruguay have already discussed a possible bid for the 2030 edition of the World Cup, further reducing any likelihood that a bid will come from South America. The tournament will expand from 32 to 48 teams for the '26 tournament, and Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino has encouraged joint bids to accommodate the increased number of teams.
The three countries have more than two years to sort out the many details that go into a bid and are exacerbated by one of this magnitude.
The three-country host format also raises the question of who will automatically qualify.
Racing to construct stadiums in time dominated the run-ups to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and the pace of building again is of concern as the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation approaches. Under this plan, the US would host 36 group games out of a possible 48, 10 last 32 matches out of a possible 16, six last 16 games from a possible eight and then all of the remaining matches. "No, they don't but it does make for a unique opportunity for North America to host the tournament". In a news release, CONCACAF said the countries will be making a "historic announcement". Cities that have hosted recent World Cups and Olympics have been left with abandoned facilities and enormous debt.
"The United States, Mexico and Canada have individually demonstrated their exceptional abilities to host world-class events". US likely needed both Canada and Mexico to secure this tournament. Montreal's Olympic Stadium (56,000), built for the 1976 Games, and Toronto's Rogers Centre (53,000) are less ideal for soccer in their current states. Iraqi-American Justin Meram just skipped out on World Cup qualifiers because he felt unsafe traveling to Iran.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, also has been modernized and a soccer-style roof over the seats was added. In addition to the Latin American giants, Italy, France, Germany (once as West Germany) and Brazil are the only other countries to have done so.
Other potential bids include Colombia, Australia and New Zealand, and Morocco.
The U.S. also sought to play host to the 2022 World Cup but lost out to Qatar in a vote later shown to have been tainted by corruption and bribery.
Trump has also signed an executive order barring travelers from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. While the order has been stalled in federal courts-and Trump will be out of office by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around-the head of world soccer's governing body said last month that the policy could derail a U.S. bid.