US, Mexico and Canada to make joint bid for 2026 World Cup

US Soccer chief Sunil Gulati says a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup between the US, Mexico and Canada has received the "full support" of the US government and president Donald Trump.

"We announce our bid to bring the World Cup back to the United States, to Canada and Mexico in 2026", US Soccer president Sunil Gulati told a press conference in the 102nd floor observatory of the new World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan.

Announcing the bid, U.S. chief Gulati said three quarters of the tournament's matches would be staged in the United States, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each.

"The president of the United States is fully supportive and encouraged us in having this joint bid. We looked at bidding alone and decided in the end we wanted to bid with our partners in North America, and we have a strong encouragement from President Trump to that very end". "We are not at all concerned at some of the concerns that some people may raise", he added.

"Given what's happened in some of the last World Cups and Olympics, building a stadium without a long-term use isn't an appealing option", Gulati said. All Iraq's "home" games in 2018 World Cup qualifying have been played in neutral Iran or Malaysia.

As Qatar and Russian Federation are the two previous hosts of the tournament, no Asian team are allowed bid to host the 2026 tournament, while it's unlikely that a European association will do so either.

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.

"That's not to say there won't be", he said, reminding Postmedia that nations from the AFC (Asia) and UEFA (Europe) confederations can't bid to host 2026 due to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups being staged in Russian Federation and Qatar, respectively. So far no other countries have announced plans for a 2026 bid. The United States hosted the 1994 tournament, and the Rose Bowl was the site of the final.

The 2026 World Cup will see 48 teams participating in the tournament instead of 32 teams, which was the case in the last couple of World Cups.

"We gave careful consideration to the prospect of bidding for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and ultimately feel strongly this is the right thing for our region and for our sport", Gulati said. That change came in the wake of allegations of wrongdoing surrounding Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 event, in which the tiny, oil-rich nation beat out proposals from the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

Federation Internationale de Football Association members will also be asked to consider the "election or dismissal" leaders of its judicial bodies, including the ethics committee.

With dozens of modern, tournament-ready venues to choose from, there is little risk of stadiums being left to rot as white elephants following the event, a problem which has embroiled grounds used at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. Europe has 55 members in the Congress, Africa 54, Asia 46, Concacaf 35, Oceania 11 and South America 10.

Among the possible venues in the USA are MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (82,500 capacity, opened in 2010); AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (80,000, 2009); Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (68,500, 2014); Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (66,000, 2002); and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (69,500 in 2003).

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