In an unprecedented show of continental unity, the United States, Canada and Mexico on Monday launched a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
If approved, it would be the first World Cup hosted by three nations and the first jointly hosted World Cup since Korea/Japan 2002. It would also be the first finals held in North America since the US hosted the 1994 tournament. Mexico would host matches for the first time since 1986, and Canada would host men's World Cup matches for the first time in history after hosting the Women's World Cup in 2015.
The tournament would primarily be played in the United States, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said during the announcement event in New York, with the US hosting 60 matches – including all matches after the quarterfinal round – and 10 matches each to be played in Canada and Mexico.
"This is a milestone day for U.S. Soccer and for CONCACAF," Gulati said. "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 Association and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, we are confident that we will submit an exemplary bid worthy of bringing the FIFA World Cup back to North America. The United States, Mexico and Canada have individually demonstrated their exceptional abilities to host world-class events.
"When our nations come together as one, as we will for 2026, there is no question the United States, Mexico and Canada will deliver an experience that will celebrate the game and serve players, supporters and partners alike."
And despite any international tensions arising from last November's US presidential elections, US soccer president Sunil Gulati tweeted that the bid has the full backing of President Trump.
Gulati was joined in the announcement by CONCACAF and Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani and Federación Mexicana de Fútbol president Decio de Maria.
"For the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, and the entire Mexican soccer family, it is a source of pride to be candidates, along with the United States and Canada, to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026," said de Maria, whose country also hosted the 1970 World Cup. "We have a unique opportunity to be the first country to host three World Cups.
"As such we are filled with pride and committed to make it the best ever. Mexico has been recognized for being a magnificent host of past FIFA events, such as the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, the 1999 Confederations Cup, the 2011 Under-17 World Cup, and most recently the 2016 FIFA Congress. If we are selected to host, it will be an honor to welcome everyone with open arms."
In addition to the 2015 women's Final, Canada has a successful history of hosting FIFA youth tournaments, including the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
"Canada Soccer is honored to partner with fellow CONCACAF member associations USA and Mexico to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup," said Montagliani. "Canada is the only remaining G-8 nation to have not hosted a FIFA World Cup despite our history of success in raising the bar for youth and women's FIFA tournaments.
"We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with fellow CONCACAF member associations U.S. Soccer and Federación Mexicana de Fútbol under the FIFA Council principles for joint bids and to continue our tradition of hosting record-breaking international events."
Gulati told reporters that the memorandum of understanding between the three countries called for all of them to receive automatic qualification to the final – the first to be played under an expanded 48-team format – but that the FIFA Council will have final say on that matter.
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LISTEN: It's official! The United States, Canada and Mexico are joining forces to bring the World Cup back to CONCACAF, making their pitch for 2026 official on Monday at a press conference in New York City. The guys walk you through all the details (31:02), then give their takes on what would be an incredible event. Plus, everything you need to know about MLS Week 6 and David Beckham stories with former MLS MVP Mike Magee (47:45). Subscribe so you don't miss a show!