CONCACAF member nations Canada, Mexico and the USA held a news conference at One World Trade Centre in New York where they announced a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
In attendance were the three Presidents: Sunil Gulati – President, United States Soccer Federation and Member, FIFA Council; Victor Montagliani – President, CONCACAF and President, Canadian Soccer Association; and Decio de Maria – President, Mexican Football Federation and Vice President, CONCACAF.
The 2026 competition will be the first to feature 48 nations, expanded from the current 32-team field. It is one of the main reasons a joint bid would be helpful for the expansion to sway FIFA decision makers to the merits of having the first World Cup with three host nations.
Under the proposal, the USA will host 60 games (including every match from the quarter-finals onwards) – while Canada and Mexico would get 10 matches each. There is confidence the bid would be accepted given that Europe and Asia are not allowed to bid for the 2026 World Cup.
By announcing first, CONCACAF hopes to build some momentum over its competitors in South America and Africa. CONCACAF also will rely heavily on the strength of the USA and Mexico who had prior experience in hosting a World Cup.
A final decision by FIFA on the successful bid will likely be made in May 2020. All bids must are due by December 2018.
One of the issues to be resolved, will all three CONCACAF nations be awarded automatic qualification? That has always been the tradition.