Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

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

Announcing the bid, U.S. chief Gulati said three quarters of the tournament's matches would be staged in the United States, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each.

Leaders from Mexico, Canada and the US said their bid would also differ from the tournament's most recent and upcoming hosts, who spent billions to create stadiums and tourism infrastructure. Since 1998 and until 2022, the FIFA World Cup had 32 teams compete in the biggest soccer tournament in the world and with the addition of 16 new teams, comes a proposal made by the three CONCACAF nations.

The bid also comes at a time when the relationship between Mexico and the United States has come under scrutiny, with the USA president, Donald Trump, vowing to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Prior to Monday's announcement that Canada, the US and Mexico will bid to host the 2026 World Cup, Canada had considered bidding alone.

Under current Federation Internationale de Football Association rules, bids from Europe and Asia are not eligible for 2026 since Russia is already preparing to host in 2018 and Qatar will stage the event in 2022. In that year, South Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup.

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The North American nations are seeking to bring the World Cup back to the region for the first time since 1994 when the US was the sole host. But with the final set to take place in the US, Mexico City's Azteca Stadium will not be able to stage its third World Cup final, after hosting the 1970 and 1986 showpiece games. However, after a tainted vote saw Russian Federation and Qatar earn hosting rights for the next two World Cups, the power has been returned to FIFA's 211-member Congress after a almost four-decade long gap in voting rights.

"It's obvious when it comes to Federation Internationale de Football Association competitions, any team, including the supporters and officials of that team, who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup", Infantino said last month.

Trump's support to bring the World Cup back to America shouldn't be all that surprising.

Canada is coming off hosting the 2015 Women's World Cup, deemed a success on and off the field. Brazil in South America hosted in 2014 and South Africa was the site of the 2010 event. "It's FIFA's decision. Every men's World Cup has been played on grass". 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". "This will be an extraordinarily successful World Cup on financial and economic grounds, and that's critical because most of FIFA's revenues come from one event". Other countries have this year and part of next year to submit their bids.

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