The United States, Mexico and Canada will make a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup, top soccer officials from the three nations announced on Monday.
"There will be 80 games, three quarters of which would be played in the United States and 10 games in each of Canada and Mexico", Gulati confirmed.
Federation Internationale de Football Association rules now prevent 2026 bidders from Europe and Asia because Russia is staging the World Cup in 2018 and Qatar has the showpiece in 2022.
While the US remained front and centre during Monday's press event in New York City, Montagliani was asked to address Canada's lack of World Cup-ready venues. The U.S. and Mexico contribute two of the bigger media markets in the world, especially with the ability to host games in prime time, plus a more mature sponsorship environment, Gulati said.
CONCACAF is in line to receive six qualification spots for the expanded World Cup, meaning only three automatic places would remain available if the US, Canada and Mexico are succesful. He said the three nations decided they could launch a stronger bid together. It should be noted that unlike the Women's World Cup, FIFA has required that natural grass be installed over the artificial pitches for all previous men's World Cups. Ultimately, this will still predominantly be a USA -led effort.
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Mexico will push to kick off the 32-day tournament at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, which hosted the final in 1970 and 1986. All Iraq's "home" games in 2018 World Cup qualifying have been played in neutral Iran or Malaysia. In December 2010, the governing body announced that Russian Federation and Qatar, respectively, will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Montreal's Olympic Stadium, with a 56,000 capacity, was built for the 1976 Games, and Toronto's Rogers Centre which holds 53,000 are unlikely to be used in their current states. All matches from the quarter-finals onwards would be in the USA which hosted in 1994. Just months removed from the issuing of President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on those seeking to enter the United States from predominantly Muslim countries, Trump has continued to be involved in a longstanding feud over funding the construction of a wall at the U.S. -Mexico border.
South Korea and Japan were initially competitors with Mexico for the 2002 World Cup, with the Asian countries opting to unite their bids shortly before the decision was handed down. And that fact hasn't escaped new Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino, who was outspoken in the wake of Trump's travel ban, saying restrictions by potential host countries would cost them any chance of winning a bid. And while Trump would not be in office in 2026, he may well be in charge still when the vote takes place in May 2020.
"We have the full support of the United States government in this project", said the US Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, according to The Guardian.
Argentina and Uruguay have already discussed a possible bid for the 2030 edition of the World Cup, further reducing any likelihood that a bid will come from South America.