A joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup incorporating the United States, Canada and Mexico is moving closer to fruition, CONCACAF confederation chief Victor Montagliani said on Thursday.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Montagliani insisted that such a bid, if successful, would help break down divisions caused by the rhetoric of president Donald Trump, who has vowed to build a wall along the Mexican border.
“Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are aiming for a joint bid, the idea has been around for a while, discussions are continuing and it is a very exciting proposition if it comes to fruition,” Montagliani said. “We have had nothing but positive remarks about it and it is a very strong sign of what football can do to bring countries together. It (behooves) football and leaders of football to deal with (political controversy) and rise above it.”
Soccer’s biggest tournament will expand to 48 teams for its 2026 edition, making a three-way bid potentially more attractive to FIFA committee members. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati has previously indicated that he expects the U.S. would be the dominant partner in such an arrangement, due to its high number of suitable cities and stadiums.
The formal bidding process will begin later this year but will not conclude until 2020. A bid from the CONCACAF region – incorporating North and Central America and the Caribbean – would instantly be a strong favorite, as the confederation has not hosted since the U.S. welcomed the soccer world in 1994.