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CONCACAF boss backs US-Mexico-Canada World Cup bid

Published:Thursday | December 29, 2016 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott

CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani is seriously considering the possibility of a shared bid between the United States, Mexico and Canada for the 2026 World Cup.

Russia and Qatar will host the 2018 and 2022 instalments respectively and CONCACAF has been mentioned as a favourite to host the showpiece in the year 2026.

"It's obviously a possibility," Montagliani told reporters at a sports conference in Dubai. "It's time for it (World Cup) to come back (to CONCACAF)."

Montagliani added that CONCACAF absolutely expects that the 2026 tournament will be held by one of its 41 members.

The region has not hosted a World Cup since the United States held the event in 1994, and while the US could undertake a solo bid again, Montagliani mentioned that a joint venture could also be on the table.

"We are fully aware that each country could probably host it on its own, but the opportunity for a joint bid is wide open," he told the gathering at the Dubai International Sports Conference.

He was also optimistic that incoming US President Donald Trump would support a World Cup bid, whether solo or in conjunction with other nations.

"It is pretty obvious the president-elect is a supporter of sport, a supporter of the Olympic movement," Montagliani said.

"At face value, I don't see it being a challenge, and I think any administration, whether it be in the West or, in my case, Canada, or in Mexico, would be supportive of an event like the World Cup. And no pun intended, I would think the World Cup would trump any political issues.''

FIFA confirmed in October that co-hosting would be allowed at the 2026 tournament and that there would be no restrictions on the number of countries in a given bid.

A successful joint bid would be the first World Cup in CONCACAF since the tournament was held in the United States in 1994 and the first co-hosted tournament since 2002 when it was held in South Korea and Japan.

Formal discussions over a possible joint US-Canada-Mexico bid are likely to start in 2017 once all the rules and regulations related to the bid are announced.