A joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico to host the enlarged 2026 World Cup is expected to be finalised this year for submission to Fifa, according to Victor Montagliani, the president of the region’s Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).
Although each country individually would have the infrastructure to host the World Cup alone, Montagliani said, a joint bid would be “a fit” with the new 48-country, 80-game format of the 2026 tournament. A final decision is likely to be taken “some time this year”.
Fifa’s new process for countries bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, announced last year under the presidency of Gianni Infantino, set out a period from June this year to December 2018 for the preparation of bids. Evaluation of countries’ suitability by Fifa is scheduled for January 2019 to February 2020, with the final decision to be taken at Fifa’s congress in May 2020. Concacaf’s proposed joint bid is considered by far the early favourite to host the tournament, which has not been held in the region since the US World Cup of 1994. The previous Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, lobbied for the US to host the 2022 World Cup, as part of a continued push to expand football as a sport in the country, before a majority on the Fifa executive committee voted controversially instead for Qatar.