Canada, Mexico and the United States have officially announced a joint bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The U.S. will take the bulk of the tournament, with 60 of the 80 games in the United States of America, and discussions have taken place to schedule group games in similar time zones which run through all three countries to minimize travel.
Although details of the joint bid have yet to be released, soccer analysts believe the U.S., Canada and Mexico are early favorites to host the 2026 tournament.
According to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, the 80-match World Cup would feature 60 matches in the US, 10 in Mexico and 10 in Canada.
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No rival bid has emerged for the 2026 tournament, which is due to be awarded by Federation Internationale de Football Association in 2020. The nation also hosted the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, both of which were won by Mexico. Europe and Asia are not eligible to bid this time because they hosted recent games. So when Gulati was asked about relations between the current administration and the U.S.'s CONCACAF neighbor to the south, he revealed that the president had given his blessing. When will we know if the CONCACAF region will get the World Cup? Canada has yet to host the marquee Federation Internationale de Football Association event, and has only qualified once to compete - in 1986 when the nation fell in the first round without any victory.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati went out of his way to say that President Donald Trump had communicated to U.S. Soccer that he was supportive of a joint bid and "especially pleased" that Mexico would be part of the joint bid. "We looked at bidding alone and decided in the end we wanted to bid with our partners in North America, and we have a strong encouragement from President Trump to that very end".
United States soccer officials had been publicly coy about the possibility of a future World Cup bid since the country lost out to Qatar in the battle for the 2022 tournament at a corruption-tarnished vote in Zurich in 2010.
Sixty of 80 matches would be played in the USA, with 10 each in Canada and Mexico.
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Hosting the FIFA World Cup in Canada could be huge for the development of the of soccer in the nation. And, if successful, it would be just the second World Cup held in multiple countries (2002 in Korea and Japan was the first).
The current tournament structure, which will be used in Russian Federation in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, involves 32 teams and 64 matches.
There hasn't been a men's World Cup in the CONCACAF region (North America, Central American, and the Caribbean) since 1994, when the USA hosted alone.
"We think this is a positive signal and symbol we should do together in unifying people, especially in all three countries". The United States also played host for the 1993 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cups.
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