The United States, Mexico and Canada Could Triple-Host The World Cup
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After the ousting of three different CONCACAF presidents on charges of corruption, bribery and money-laundering, the region has begun the slow process of recovery behind a newly elected leader, Canadian Victor Montagliani.
Key to FIFA reestablishing its reputation, as well as remedying the fall-out from the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, is to establish a World Cup bidding process that is both transparent and sensible.
FIFA has accomplished the first step in that process by shifting the decision into “a four-phase approach” which will include a year of consultation and three years of preparation and evaluation.
Also, the areas of “human rights and environmental protection, the ability to exclude bids that do not meet technical requirements, a review of stance on joint bids and a decision on whether to increase the World Cup to 40 teams” will now factor heavily into the final decision.
With these ground rules having been established, CONCACAF, and the United States in particular, are self-assured of being awarded the 2026 World Cup. Former U.S. defender Alexi Lalas is particularly boorish about his countries chances.
“It has to be in the United States,” says Lalas. “Nobody will do it better, it will make the most money in the history of World Cups, it will be coming to a culture that loves soccer and it just makes all the sense in the world.”
However, the appointment of Montagliani as president (he also serves as president of the Canadian Soccer Association) and Mexico’s intention of bidding for the right to host the tournament has opened the door for an interesting possibility, that of a triple-hosted World Cup between the US, Canada and Mexico.
Citing the success of the Women’s World Cup in Canada, Montagliani believes that a 2026 World Cup in CONCACAF is “very realistic”.
“The three countries are very strong in their own right and we’ll look for a collaborative strategy to make sure we bring the World Cup back to CONCACAF for 2026,” said Montagliani. “We will talk about that around a table and try to hammer out the strategy which would be the most promising.”
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has never disguised his interest in the appeal of joint World Cup bids, and a triple-hosted 2026 World Cup could point the way forward for CONCACAF’s administration, regional cooperation and image.
(H/T: World Soccer)