On April 10, 2017, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) have made a bid to FIFA to host the 2026 World Cup in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico. Though the confirmation will be provided by 2020, the CONCACAF has requested for an expedited approval by 2018. (CBC)
The 2002 FIFA World Cup held in South Korea and Japan was the only World Cup to have co-hosts. All the other World Cups were hosted by a single country.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States of America was the last World Cup ever to be held in CONCACAF region.
According to the new FIFA bidding rules, both Europe and Asia will be excluded from the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup because the upcoming two World Cups will be held in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022). Therefore, FIFA will be accepting bids only from North America, South America, Africa and Oceania.
Sunil Gulati, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, expressed his delight on the joint bid stating: “This is a milestone day for U.S. Soccer and for CONCACAF. We gave careful consideration to the prospect of bidding for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and ultimately feel strongly this is the right thing for our region and for our sport. Along with our partners from the Canadian Soccer Assn. and the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol, we are confident that we will submit an exemplary bid worthy of bringing the FIFA World Cup back to North America.” (Los Angeles Times)
Gulati also added that President Trump is supportive of the idea of co-hosting the World Cup with Mexico.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first World Cup in history to have a 48-team format. According to an agreement between the three countries, 60 out of the overall 80 matches will be played in the United States itself, with Canada and Mexico playing host to 10 matches each. The reason behind this division is that America has more number of stadiums that meet FIFA’s eligibility criteria to host the matches.
Canada, currently at 109 in FIFA rankings, have only qualified once of the World Cup in 1986.
With the approval of the bid and qualification of the Canadian National Team, the sport of football (soccer) will receive a huge boost in the country.
(Lead Image Source: CBC)