Could the United States, Mexico and Canada host the 2026 World Cup together? It appears as if they are dead set on trying.
After months of speculation that the countries may join up for a super bid, CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani says that the three nations are working on just that.
“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 said to the Guardian. “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.”
There has only been one joint hosted in the history of the World Cup, back in 2002 when Japan and South Korea teamed up. Obviously, there has never been a three-country host.
After the 2002 World Cup, there was hesitation allowing another joint bid because the politics involved were so difficult. However, that was when Sepp Blatter was FIFA president. New boss Gianni Infantino has expressed his desire to see more joint bids because it would allow countries that otherwise could not host to get involved.
Of course, the U.S., Mexico and Canada are not countries that need help to bid. All are big enough, with enough resources, to host a World Cup alone. But with joint bids in favor at FIFA and this providing an opportunity for CONCACAF’s three biggest countries to all get a chance at hosting, the idea has picked up steam.
There are still hurdles to overcome. The political issues that plagued the 2002 World Cup are still in play, maybe more so now that U.S. president Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall between his country and Mexico. He’s also limited travel from countries, which UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said could be a problem for any World Cup bid that includes the U.S.
Even so, by 2026 it would have been 32 years since a CONCACAF country hosted the World Cup. There are many who believe that it is the region’s turn, making the strongest bid from CONCACAF the immediate favorite to win the right to host. If all of the region’s biggest countries all join together, and can do so without providing additional political headaches, the bid would be the runaway favorite when FIFA votes to award the tournament in May of 2020.