The United States, Mexico, and Canada made their rumored joint bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup official today. U.S. Soccer’s Sunil Gulati, the Mexican Football Federation’s Decio de María, and Canada Soccer President Victor Montagliani held a press conference to formally announce their intention to file a joint bid.
There have been co-hosts in the past, but this is the first time that three countries have bid to jointly host a FIFA competition. With the World Cup field set to expand, Canada Soccer notes that “Canada-USA-Mexico are uniquely suited to fulfill requirements for the 48-nation 2026 FIFA World Cup finals”.
The expanded field would feature 80 games, and the bid proposes hosting 60 of them in the U.S., 10 in Mexico, and 10 in Canada, with all games from the quarterfinals on in the U.S, although the final ruling would be up to FIFA.
Sunil Gulati noted that the infrastructure to host such an event is already in place throughout the three North American countries.
The power of soccer to unify people and countries, as well as the social symbolism of a jointly-hosted World Cup, was a recurring theme in the press conference.
Bids can be submitted through December 2018, and the host(s) will be selected in May 2020.