US, Mexico, Canada in joint bid for 2026 World Cup

Cheryl Sanders
April 13, 2017

The United States, Mexico and Canada announced a joint bid to stage the 2026 World Cup on Monday, aiming to become the first three-way co-hosts in the history of FIFA's showpiece tournament.

Victor Montagliani, left, President of the Canadian Soccer Association, Sunil Gulati, center, President of the United States Soccer Federation, and Decio de Maria, President of the Mexican Football Federation, sign the document of intent to FIFA seeking to co-host the 2026 World Cup, Monday, April 10, 2017, in NY.

If successful, it would be the first World Cup to be held in three countries and only the second multi-nation tournament following Japan and South Korea in 2002.

An agreement between the three CONCACAF nations would see the US host 75% of the 80-game, 48-team tournament, with both Canada and Mexico hosting 10 fixtures each.

"The president of the United States is fully supportive and encouraged us in having this joint bid".

Sunil Gulati, president of United States football, said all games from the quarter-finals forward would be played in the U.S. under the proposal.

"When our nations come together as one - as we will for 2026 - there is no question the US, Mexico and Canada will deliver an experience that will celebrate the game and serve players, supporters and partners alike". "He's excited Mexico is part of this bid". And that's in the last few days we've gotten further encouragement on that.

"So we're not at all concerned about some of the issues that other people may raise". The US also hosted women's World Cups in 2003 and 1999, while Mexico has hosted men's World Cups in 1986 and 1970, and Canada had the women's World Cup in 2015.

"We're in favour of more venues than less", Gulati added - a signal matches in Canada could be spread across stadiums beyond those located in Toronto and Vancouver. And if they can convince Federation Internationale de Football Association, plans for the 2026 World Cup could begin much sooner than we thought. A triple-hosted tournament poses logistical challenges trying to accommodate 48 teams, but the plethora of soccer facilities in North America offers some certainty to Federation Internationale de Football Association after likely challenging tournaments in Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

"There has never been a World Cup where the host countries have not been qualified", Gulati said. The US will host 60 games and Canada and Mexico will host the other 20 games.

The decision on who will host the event will be made in 2020.

The president of the American federation also said that following the quarterfinals, all the matches will be played on American soil.

Some reports have suggested that Morocco, which failed in bids for four previous World Cups, could team up with Spain and possibly Portugal in a joint bid.

Gulati didn't directly mention President Donald Trump in that particular remark, but the impact of the policies of the fledging administration on a World Cup bid involving feuding neighbors was a constant theme during the event atop the Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan. "We think that's an advantage".

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