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Mexico USA in Joint Bid

12 April 2017

Gulati said the initial plans were to stage 60 of the 80 World Cup games in the U.S., with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each.

According to Fifa's new World Cup bidding process, announced as part of a wider package of reforms a year ago, countries interested in staging 2026 have until December 2018 to prepare their bids. What we do know is that the USA will host 60 matches, including every game from the quarterfinals through to the final.

The U.S. will have to make assurances to Federation Internationale de Football Association that every country that qualifies-including potentially Iran, a World Cup regular that was on Trump's travel ban list-will be able to have their teams, fans and media be able to enter the country. Should they win the right to host, it would be the first time in World Cup history that three countries have hosted the global spectacle.

It all adds up to a pretty formidable bid for CONCACAF, though there are still some drawbacks.

Mexico has hosted the World Cup twice before - the 1970 event won by a Pele-inspired Brazil and the 1986 tournament won by an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona. The wonder is which cities in Canada will host some of the games, will we have a World Cup game in Quebec? The country was previously chosen to host the tournament for the first time in 1986, but lost its bid to Mexico due to financial problems.

FIFA's decision on 2026 is still more than three years away but as of now, it is clear that a joint bid by the USA, Canada, and Mexico is looking very likely.

This raised some eyebrows, because the United States now has a President who is trying to build a wall along the Mexican border, and launched his successful campaign by calling Mexicans rapist and drug dealers.

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This tournament will host 48 teams-up from the current format of 32 teams-which means there will be 20 more games than there are now.

With Europe and Asia ineligible, CONCACAF could in theory face potential competition from the Africa, South America and Oceania regional confederations.

Victor Montagliani, the CONCACAF President and President of the Canadian Soccer Association, says that "we'll respond accordingly" if FIFA were to require grass pitches for the Canadian venues.

"We don't believe that sport can solve all the issues of the world, but especially [with] what's going on the world today, we think this is a hugely positive signal and symbol of what we can do together", U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunnil Gulati said. And the US will host every match from the quarterfinals on, meaning the final will be held somewhere in America.

The bid provides a stark contrast to President Donald Trump's promise to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The United States Soccer Federation's plans came at a time when President Trump called for a wall to be built along the Mexican border to prevent immigration from the Central American country. Last month, Infantino stated, "Any team, including the supporters and officials...who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup". The voting is scheduled to take place in 2020.

Mexico USA in Joint Bid