Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

US, Mexico and Canada to make joint bid for 2026 World Cup

US, Mexico and Canada to make joint bid for 2026 World Cup

CONCACAF is expected to have a three-nation bid to host the 2026 World Cup, involving Mexico, Canada and the United States, and the expansion of that tournament to 48 teams means the region will get six automatic slots in the finals. According to Montagliani, each of the three countries has the infrastructure to host the tournament on its own, but that a joint bid would be "a fit" with FIFA's new format.

But CONCACAF could receive pushback from regular World Cup participants Mexico, the USA and Costa Rica, who could now be forced to play regional minnows rather than friendlies against elite teams from other continents.

The next World Cup is next summer in Russian Federation. The timing to bring the tournament back to North America could be in this bid's favor, especially given that both Europe and Asia will not be in the bidding race because of restrictions put into place by Federation Internationale de Football Association before awarding the 2018 and 2022 events.

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 on Monday at 2 pm ET. A bid from the CONCACAF region - incorporating North and Central America and the Caribbean - would instantly be a strong favorite, as the confederation has not hosted since the US welcomed the soccer world in 1994. New boss Gianni Infantino has expressed his desire to see more joint bids because it would allow countries that otherwise could not host to get involved.

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The comments from Montagliani, a Canadian businessman, on uniting the countries follow U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico that he wants the latter to pay for. CONCACAF now gets three automatic slots and its fourth-place team advances to a playoff for another.

Countries have until December 2018 to formulate their bids.

The 2026 World Cup host won't be announced until May of 2020, but trying to put on a tournament across three countries is extremely complicated and the U.S., Mexico and Canada would be wise to use as much time as possible to work through all those difficulties.

The CONCACAF measure will be a boon for the region's smaller countries, particularly ones who have little hope of participating in a World Cup.

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