Mexico is finalizing a bid to host the 2026 World Cup, according to a report published in Mexican outlet Record on Tuesday.
According to the report, Mexico will present the bid to FIFA officials at the annual FIFA Congress in Mexico City next month. In addition to Mexico, the US and Canada have also both shown interest in hosting the tournament.
Mexico, which hosted the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, does not currently have enough stadiums that meet FIFA requirements to host a World Cup. However, Record reported that the plan the Mexican federation will present next month will include information on stadium renovations and upgrades necessary for hosting the tournament and that a final list of venues – highlighted be a renovated Estadio Azteca – is almost set.
Record reported that Mexico will initially present a bid to host the tournament alone, but that the possibility of eventually joining up with the US for a joint bid hasn’t been completely ruled out.
US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said last month that the US could “host a World Cup relatively easily,” going as far as to say that “we could do it overnight.” The US last hosted a World Cup in 1994.
Canada Soccer president Victor Montagliani has also thrown his country’s hat into the ring, telling the Toronto Sun in December that “political will” in Canada is strong to host the tournament and that they intend to make a bid. Montagliani said that Canada, which hosted a wildly successful Women’s World Cup last year, wouldn’t be opposed to making a joint bid with the US for the tournament.
FIFA will begin receiving bids for the 2026 World Cup at the FIFA Congress next month. The host will be decided at the May 2017 FIFA Congress held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The bidding process was initially set to begin in 2015, but was postponed amid corruption allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to Qatar.
FIFA policy does not allow a continental confederation to host consecutive World Cups, meaning members of the Asian Football Confederation – of which Qatar is a member – will not be eligible to bid for the 2026 tournament. It would also be unlikely that FIFA would award the 2026 tournament to a European nation after Russia hosts in 2018, as that would mean a UEFA member would host two out of three World Cups.
A World Cup has not been held in CONCACAF since the US hosted in 1994, the longest streak of not holding the tournament for any confederation besides Oceania, which has never hosted a World Cup.
Other countries that have been rumored to be interested in lining up a bid include Australia and Colombia.