World Cup In USA, Mexico And Canada Is A Go-Go

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 21, 2017

The CONCACAF trio confirmed their plan at a press conference on Monday at One World Trade Centre in NY.

With the 2026 edition of the World Cup being the first ever expanded to 48 teams, a North American co-hosting situation could give them the edge with the United States' vast resources and venues with Canada and Mexico playing a supporting role.

The U.S. will take the bulk of the tournament, with 60 of the 80 games in the United States of America. The United States would host all knockout games from the quarter-finals onwards, he added.

"We have very specifically addressed this with the President", said Sunil Gulati, the president of the American football federation. It also comes at a time when tensions between the US and Mexico governments is high following USA president Donald Trump's promises to build a wall along the border of the two countries, as well as the White House's attempts at instituting a travel ban from certain nations.

Earlier this year, Trump signed directives to begin building a wall along USA border with Mexico and crack down on United States cities that shield undocumented immigrants.

"We are not at all concerned at some of the concerns that some people may raise", Gulati said. That's double the size of the last World Cup in North America in 1994 when the US was the only host.

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

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have collectively hosted 13 FIFA World Cups at the men's, women's and youth levels and set attendance records for five of those events.

Though it would not be the first time countries have split hosting duties (see: the 2002 World Cup), it would be the first time three have done so.

With Europe and Asia ineligible, CONCACAF could in theory face potential competition from the Africa, South America and Oceania regional confederations.

But it will all be fine, Gulati said. The BBC also notes that because of a rotational policy, European and Asian countries will be barred from bidding for 2026, since Russian Federation and Qatar have already won the right to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, respectively.

Having pushed through his plan to expand the World Cup from 32 teams in January, Infantino is said to be supportive of joint bids. But FIFA hasn't yet ruled on that for this joint bid, which means Canada might still have to go through the CONCACAF qualifying process in order to play at the 2026 World Cup. Federation Internationale de Football Association will select the host for the sporting event in 2020.

On that occasion, both nations were granted qualification to the tournament as hosts, as is tradition.

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