Tue | Aug 22, 2017

US, Canada, Mexico to bid for WC 2026

Published:Monday | April 10, 2017 | 4:00 AM
The FIFA World Cup Trophy

NEW YORK, USA (AP):

The United States, Mexico and Canada are going to announce a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup today, a person familiar with the decision said.

The Confederation of North and Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is moving ahead with the bid that was widely expected before Donald Trump was elected president. There has been concern that the plan was unworkable under Trump's anti-immigrant policies, but even if he serves a second term, Trump would not be president in 2026.

The confederation made the final decision to go ahead with the bid at its meeting in Aruba on Saturday, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the bid will not formally be announced until today in Manhattan. In a news release, CONCACAF said the countries will be making what it describes as a "historic announcement".

The hosting rights are set to be decided in May 2020 - during Trump's potential re-election campaign.

CONCACAF has not hosted the World Cup since the tournament was played at nine US venues in 1994, and the region appears to be the leading contender for 2026, when football's premier event expands from 32 nations to 48.

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

"I think now that there is the potential of 48 teams then a three-nation tournament can happen," former US forward and ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman said. "Does the US need the other two? No, they don't, but it does make for a unique opportunity for North America to host the tournament."

A successful North American bid appears possible. FIFA barred Europe and Asia from entering the 2026 race because those continents will have hosted the previous two tournaments. South American football leaders are hoping to host a centenary World Cup in 2030. And bidding experts say privately that Africa is not a realistic option this time around.