Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

USA, Mexico, Canada 'aiming for' joint bid to host 2026 World Cup

USA, Mexico, Canada 'aiming for' joint bid to host 2026 World Cup

A senior official from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) has confirmed that Mexico, Canada and the USA are planning a joint bid for the 2026 football World Cup.

The announcement is set for 2 p.m. ET.

The U.S. hosted the tournament once in 1994, and Mexico saw it twice, in 1970 and 1986 (the only time Canada has qualified).

The landscape of friendlies could be changing dramatically for the United States men's national team in the next World Cup cycle.

A US Soccer statement teased a "historic announcement" to be made in NY, which is expected to be the launch of a campaign to bring the world's biggest sporting event to North America.

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In an interview with Reuters, Montagliani, who is also the president of CONCACAF - which governs the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean - and the Canadian Soccer Association, confirmed the so-called "nations league" format would effectively eliminate friendly matches even for the region's powerhouses.

During his 2016 campaign for the CONCACAF presidency, Montagliani talked about a "collaborative strategy" to bring the 2026 World Cup to CONCACAF with Canada having already indicated it would put up its hand.

If selected, the 2026 World Cup would not be the first World Cup to be hosted by multiple nations. The top two teams from each group will then advance to a 32-team knockout stage. 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. The plan is for the United States, Canada and Mexico to serve as hosts for the 2026 World Cup, which will be expanded to 48 countries and 80 games. In 2002, the World Cup was split between Japan and South Korea.

Improvements to current sports sites, improvements to public transport, and other infrastructure costs would likely be split between each host nation in this joint bid. The 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russian Federation, and the 2022 event - which since-deposed FIFA president Sepp Blatter lobbied for the US host alone - instead was awarded to Qatar. Obviously, there has never been a three-country host.

A decision on the successful 2026 bidder is expected in May 2020.

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