US, Canada and Mexico in 'joint bid'

Kristopher Drake
April 11, 2017

A World Cup bid was revealed Monday in the United States.

"We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with fellow CONCACAF member associations U.S. Soccer and Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación under the FIFA Council principles for joint bids and to continue our tradition of hosting record-breaking worldwide events".

Despite recent complications in the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said President Donald Trump was on board with the idea.

"The general parameters of this bid are a World Cup of 80 games".

Asked if he was referring to Trump's belligerent rhetoric about building a wall, Montagliani, a Canadian insurance executive elected as the Concacaf president last May, said football has to "rise above" all kinds of political regimes which many people dislike. And while Mexico's infrastructure doesn't match the NFL-aided (generally taxpayer-subsidized) palaces the USA boasts, new stadiums in Monterrey and Guadalajara plus remodeling jobs at the Estadio Azteca and continuing expansion on the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana give Mexico more than enough quality buildings as well.

In that situation, our best guess is that eight of the groups will have their games played entirely in the United States, while four each would play their games in Mexico and Canada.

After almost 40 years in the World Cup wilderness, Canada could have a guaranteed route to playing in the 2026 tournament if a plan being pushed by the new leader of CONCACAF is submitted to and then earns approval by Federation Internationale de Football Association. A final decision on the format will probably be "sometime this season", Montagliani said.

But much work remains to be done.

It will be the first tournament after the expansion from 32 teams to 48. and, if successful, it would be the first time a World Cup has been hosted jointly by three countries.

The only other co-hosted World Cup was played in 20 stadiums across South Korea and Japan in 2002. The bans have been struck down by the courts but the administration has also called for additional vetting for travelers from several nations. "He is especially pleased that Mexico is part of this bid".

The European Championship, second to the World Cup in popularity, has had multiple hosts three times, albeit in small, neighboring countries: Belgium-Netherlands in 2000, Austria-Switzerland in '08 and Ukraine-Poland in 2012. He said that President Trump has given his backing to the proposal and was particularly supportive of Mexico's involvement.

However Canada earned plaudits for its staging of the Womens' World Cup in 2015, which was won by the United States in the final in Vancouver.

Should the CONCACAF bid be awarded the hosting rights, organizers will need to determine if all three nations receive an automatic qualification for the tournament.

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