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US, Canada, Mexico to Submit Joint Bid for 2026 World Cup

Victor Montagliani Gianni Infantino FIFA
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 28: FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Victor Montagliani, CONCACAF President speak during the 11th Dubai International Sports Conference on December 28, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

It looks like the Football Federations for the United States, Canada, and Mexico plan to submit a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.  The project is being spearheaded by the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Football Associations (CONCACAF) President Victor Montagliani. If successful the joint bid would be the first of its kind where three countries played host, and in fact this would be the first joint bid since South Korea and Japan hosted the 2002 World Cup.

Montagliani ‘s motivation for a joint bid is a spirit of cooperation between the largest countries in the confederation, contrasted with the recent negative political rhetoric from President Donald Trump toward Mexico. Montagliani laid out his motivation by stating:

“Canada, the US and Mexico are aiming for a joint bid, the idea has been around for a while, discussions are continuing and it is a very exciting proposition if it comes to fruition,” Montagliani said. “We have had nothing but positive remarks about it and it is a very strong sign of what football can do to bring countries together.”

The process for evaluation of the bid will begin in January of 2019, allowing for the group bid to be finalized withing the next year and a half.  FIFA’s final decision will be made at the congress in 2020.  After the successful 2015 Gold Cup that was joint hosted by the U.S. and Canada, Montagliani attached himself to a joint World Cup bid in his campaign for the presidency.

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Each country has enough of an infrastructure to host solo, but with the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams and 80 games Montagaliani said a joint bid would be a “fit” in the new format.  A successful bid would be welcome news for the confederation after years of corruption that plagued its leadership under Jack Warner.

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The joint bid would continue a trend for the confederation as it was able to joint host the Copa America Centenario last year with South America’s CONMEBOL, and are seeking to once again host a Copa America in 2020.

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Historically this would be the third World Cup hosted by Mexico and would fall on the 40th anniversary of hosting the 1986 World Cup.  This would be the second World Cup hosted by the United States after the 1994 edition, for Canada this would be the first men’s World Cup having hosted the Women’s edition in 2015.

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