The US, Canada and Mexico are expected to finalize a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup by the end of the year, according to comments made by CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani to The Guardian on Thursday.
“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 told The Guardian from Aruba, where CONCACAF will hold its annual congress on Saturday. “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.”
Montagliani said that each of the three countries would have the infrastructure to host the tournament on its own, but that a joint bid would be “a fit” with FIFA’s new, 48-country format for the 2026 tournament.
FIFA announced last year a new process for bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, with countries able to submit their bids from June 2017 through December 2018. FIFA will evaluate each bid from January 2019 to February 2020 before making their final decision at the FIFA congress in May 2020.
No CONCACAF country has hosted the World Cup since the US held the tournament in 1994. That World Cup served as something of a launching pad for MLS, with eight of the nine markets that hosted matches – Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, LA, New York, Orlando and Washington – eventually becoming home to an MLS team. Detroit is the only market that hosted a 1994 World Cup match that doesn’t currently have an MLS team, though a group from the city formally applied for MLS expansion in January.