US, Mexico and Canada Launch Joint Bid to Host 2026 World Cup

A joint bid among Canada, Mexico and the United States has emerged to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup it was announced Monday from a press conference at the Freedom Tower in NY.

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

North America hasn't played host since the USA held the event in 1994 and drew nearly 3.6 million people to stadiums across the country - still a World Cup record despite the fact that only 24 nations competed at the time. Federation Internationale de Football Association has recently voted to bar Europe or Asia from bidding for the 2026 World Cup because their respective confederations will already be hosting the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) tournaments.

FIFA announced the decision to expand worldwide football's premier competition by 16 sides last January, and the North American trio became the first countries to make their interest in hosting the event official at a media conference in NY on Monday. It was 16 years earlier that the World Cup last came to the CONCACAF region, when the United States hosted a 1994 edition that set records for total attendance and average per game.

The USA, Canada and Mexico have hosted 13 FIFA World Cups combined when including the men's, women's and youth tournaments.

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The United States and Mexico are perennial qualifiers but Canada have only reached the finals once - back in 1986.

Canadas largest arena is Commonwealth Stadium (56,000) in Edmonton, Alberta, which opened in 1978 and was renovated ahead of the 2015 Womens World Cup.

"I think it's safe to say both countries would have liked to host more".

The bid also comes at a time while the current US president, Donald Trump, has implemented an aggressive stance on immigration enforcement and wants to build a wall at the US-Mexico border.

With an 80-game event in North America - some are calling it the NAFTA World Cup - a key question is how the matches will be allocated.

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"We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with fellow CONCACAF member associations under the FIFA Council principles for joint bids and to continue our tradition of hosting record-breaking global events". "But (co-hosting) makes our bid stronger". “He is fully supportive of the joint bid, encouraged the joint bid, and is especially pleased with the fact Mexico is participating in the joint bid.”. That leaves members from CONMEBOL (South America), CAF (Africa) and OFC (Oceania) as the only other options.

Throughout World Cup history the host nation (s) have always received automatic qualification. But Gulati said that soccer officials had been contact with Trump through a third party and that the president is on board.

The only other co-hosted World Cup was played in 20 stadiums across South Korea and Japan in 2002.

In evaluating the bid, Federation Internationale de Football Association will need assurances from the US government that individuals and groups from all countries will be able to enter the country and cross borders perhaps multiple times.

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