Mexico Gets Serious About Hosting The 2026 World Cup
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Mexico has previously stated its desire to host the 2026 World Cup, a tournament that will almost certainly be given to the CONCACAF region, but now it's getting serious.
Following CAF in 2010 (South Africa), CONMEBOL in 2014 (Brazil), UEFA in 2018 (Russia) and AFC in 2022 (Qatar), FIFA has all but promised the tournament to North America.
While Mexico, the United States and Canada have all made it clear that they’d like to host the tournament, Mexico’s Football Federation president Decio de Maria has come out with the strongest statement of intent yet. Speaking with ESPN, De Maria said, “Mexico will be in the hunt to host the 2026 World Cup.”
What remains to be seen is if the the vying countries of CONCACAF decide to co-host the tournament together. This plan seems exceedingly preferred by FIFA president Gianni Infantino in conjunction with his desire to create a 48-team World Cup.
In Infantino’s 48-team World Cup, there would be a preliminary phase where 16 teams would directly qualify for the group stage, and 32 teams would play in a preliminary, knockout round for the remaining 16 places, the tournament then resuming in its traditional 32-team group stage format.
Essentially, this would add an additional sixteen matches for a total of 80 at the tournament. You can see how such a massive competition could be nicely spread out across multiple countries.
“I don’t know [whether we would pursue a joint bid],” said De Maria, “but the rules are already open to it. What was agreed upon makes the path perfectly clear.”
FIFA vice president and CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said, “Is there an opportunity to combine the three countries? Perhaps. We don’t know that yet. There have been zero formal discussions. We are not there yet.”
De Maria also revealed that Mexico are looking to host the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
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