USA, Mexico and Canada announce 2026 World Cup bid

USA Mexico

The United States, Mexico and Canada have officially launched a bid to jointly host the 2026 World Cup.

The presidents of all three countries’ soccer federations formally announced their bid in New York on Monday, declaring their intent to bring the world’s biggest sporting event to North America for the first time since 1994 with the first ever three-country bid.

The joint bid is the first to formally declare their candidacy to host the 2026 World Cup. No other country has even shown that they are close to launching a bid, with general interest from Uruguay the furthest along that any other nation has come to joining the race. FIFA will decide the host of the tournament in May of 2020.

The three countries have more than two years to sort out the many details that go into a bid and are exacerbated by one of this magnitude. Everything from deciding which cities and stadiums will host matches — all three countries will have to decide how many matches go to each nation and who gets the glamour matches like the opener and final — to the transportation, scheduling and infrastructure will have to be determined.

More complicated will be the politics and travel involved. Those issues caused problems for the only jointly hosted World Cup in history, with Japan and South Korea in 2002, and this adds another country. It also comes at a time when tensions between the U.S. and Mexico governments is high following U.S. president Donald Trump’s promises to build a wall along the border of the two countries, as well as the White House’s attempts at instituting a travel ban from certain nations.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are expected to put forth a very strong bid. All three countries involved can all deliver several stadiums capable of hosting matches immediately, with the Americans featuring a slew of NFL stadiums, Mexico highlighting the most famous soccer stadium on the continent in Estadio Azteca, and Canada having Rogers Centre in Toronto to go along with BC Place in Vancouver, which was the 2010 Olympic stadium and site of the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. The three countries all have plenty of major cities, as well as the infrastructure that goes along with that, and history hosting major international events as well.

There is also a belief from those around the soccer world that it is CONCACAF’s turn to host the World Cup. The event hasn’t been hosted in the region since the U.S. put on the 1994 tournament, making it 32 years by the time 2026 comes around. In that time, every other continent will have hosted the World Cup, including Europe three times and Asia twice. FIFA has gone as far as barring Europe and Asia from bidding on the 2026 tournament, ruling out potentially strong bids from England and China, among others.