U.S., Mexico and Canada could be getting 2026 FIFA World Cup
According to Yahoo sports, the cat seems to be out of the bag.
Although the decision-makers involved have been mum or wishy-washy on the subject for years, Victor Montagliani, the president of CONCACAF and the Canadian Soccer Association, has told the Guardian that a joint U.S.-Canadian-Mexican World Cup bid for 2026 is in the works.
“Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are aiming for a joint bid,” Montagliani said. “The idea has been around for a while, discussions are continuing and it is a very exciting proposition if it comes to fruition.”
“We have had nothing but positive remarks about it and it is a very strong sign of what football can do to bring countries together,” he added.
The latter remark alludes to U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but we’ll get to that.
Montagliani argued that all three countries would be capable of bidding on their own – even though the 2026 World Cup will be the first that’s expanded to 48 teams and 80 games, up from 32 and 64 – but that a joint bid makes sense. A formal decision on the joint bid is expected this year. The deadline to submit a bid is December 2018. FIFA will spend the following year or so evaluating the bids, with a decision scheduled to be taken in May 2020.
The United States had been the favorite in its bid for the 2022 World Cup, but controversially lost the voting to Qatar in 2010 in a round of bidding that is thought to have been rife with corruption and vote-trading. Although FIFA, now largely under new leadership, insists that Qatar will be allowed to keep its seemingly ill-gotten World Cup, there is lingering doubt that it will really be played there in five years.
If Qatar, for whatever reason, is stripped of the World Cup, the U.S. is one of the best-positioned nations to take its place on short notice.
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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