Canada, US And Mexico Launch Bid To Co-Host 2026 World Cup

Victor Montagliani is the president of CONCACAF.
ALFREDO ESTRELLA  
AFP  Getty Images

The football associations of the United States, Canada and Mexico have announced their intention to submit a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup. It is unclear who contacted whom to start the negotiations, but no doubt talks were hastened by the fact that the region has not hosted a World Cup since the United States in 1994.

A greater variety of cities and venues, U.S. Soccer Federation boss Sunil Gulati said, would strengthen the bid.

Gulati said 60 of the tournament's matches would be staged in the United States, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each.

Asked whether Mexico in particular, which hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, wanted to hold more matches, Gulati said: "I think it's safe to say both countries would have liked to host more".

Canada's largest arena is Commonwealth Stadium (56,000) in Edmonton, Alberta, which opened in 1978 and was renovated ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup.

"We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with fellow CONCACAF member associations under the FIFA Council principles for joint bids and to continue our tradition of hosting record-breaking worldwide events".

Montagliani appeared to be referring to divisiveness caused by U.S. President Donald Trump's follow-through on a campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

He played down the possibility that politics could hamper the bid, emphasising that Trump was "especially pleased" with Mexico's involvement.

If selected, the 2026 World Cup would not be the first World Cup to be hosted by multiple nations.

If the joint bid is successful, where would they play games in Canada?

The 2026 tournament, if awarded to the three countries, would produce the biggest financial boon ever for Federation Internationale de Football Association, said Gulati. "I guess you just have to trust the people closest to it, that they know what they're doing". Playing more matches against CONCACAF will not help them prepare for matches on the biggest stage like the World Cup.

Tom Marshall: We should probably err on the side of caution until Montagliani's proposal is fully explained, but it is easy to see why a majority of CONCACAF's 41 federations would be in favor. The event hasn't been hosted in the region since the USA put on the 1994 tournament, making it 32 years by the time 2026 comes around. 2026 World Cup soccer games could be played in a number of modern stadiums across North America, including MetLi. Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, built for the 1966 World Cup, has an 87,000 capacity after a renovation that was completed a year ago, and there are relatively new venues in Monterrey (BBVA Bancomer, 52,000, 2015) and Guadalajara (Estadio Chivas, 45,000, 2010).

BC Place in Vancouver British, Columbia (54,500) underwent major renovations from 2009-11 and also was used for the women's tournament.

Other than the Concacaf nations, only Morocco has so far expressed any real interest in running for 2026, with newly elected Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad having backed a possible bid from the North African country, which previously lost out on 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from NY, said: "While the decision isn't expected for another three years, this joint bid is a clear front runner also because there appears to be no challengers".

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