US, Mexico and Canada Launch Joint Bid to Host 2026 World Cup

Cheryl Sanders
April 13, 2017

The bid also comes at a time while the U.S. President Donald Trump has implemented an aggressive stance on immigration enforcement and wants to build a wall at the U.S. -Mexico border.

Africa could mount a bid, especially if it allies with another confederation and both vote as blocs.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico will jointly bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the leaders of each country's soccer federations announced Monday.

The North American proposal for 2026, which will mark the first time the World Cup field is expanded from 32 to 48 teams, would feature 60 matches played in the United States and 10 each in Canada and Mexico.

"We have the full support of the United States government in this project", Gulati said.

Argentina and Uruguay - the original World Cup host in 1930 - are focused on a centenary tournament in 2030, however.

"A good signal to the rest of the world is that this can be done without necessarily building infrastructure or venues specifically for one event", Gulati said.

Montagliani said on Monday that the group will push for all three host countries to receive automatic World Cup qualification.

The federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States announced on Saturday that their respective presidents will make an "historic announcement" at One World Observatory atop the One World Trade Center in downtown New York City.

Toronto's BMO Field - home of Major League Soccer's Toronto FC - is the only multi-purpose stadium in Canada now outfitted with a natural grass playing surface.

Does Canada have any experience staging major soccer tournaments?

"We haven't discussed any of that", Montagliani said. Cities that have hosted recent World Cups and Olympics have been left with abandoned facilities and enormous debt. "I'd assume this will be the same". That is obvious.” The U.S., Mexico and Canada have to guarantee freedom of travel as part of the bidding requirements.

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. "And that was in the last couple of days that we were given further encouragement on that". "It's an event second to none". Canada and Mexico will have 10 games apiece. "If we get the tournament it will accelerate the process". Solo host nations normally earn that privilege.

But equally big is the fact that the 2026 FIFA World Cup final would also be here.

Through back channels, Gulati said the USSF received assurances the White House will back the bid.

And that counts for something.

The bid will now be reviewed by Federation Internationale de Football Association before the organization comes to a final decision in May 2020. Blame CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani for that.

"We always kept our options open knowing we could host on our own at 32". The United States would host all knockout games from the quarter-finals onwards, he added.

"Frankly, I think a few countries could". Mexico has played in 15 World Cups, the most of any CONCACAF nation. Last month, Infantino stated, "Any team, including the supporters and officials...who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup".

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