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CONCACAF general secretary favors joint 2026 WC bid but not combined qualifying with CONMEBOL

moggio

With the 2026 World Cup set to feature 48 teams for the first time, a joint World Cup bid may be exactly what’s required to have enough available hosting sites, a prospect welcomed by CONCACAF leadership.

CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio talked up a potential joint bid from the United States, Mexico, and Canada for the 2026 World Cup while speaking to ESPN Deportes, stating that a pooling of resources may be what’s needed to make hosting the tournament a reality. With the tournament comprising 80 matches instead of 64, there is a greater strain on hosting sites and a greater number could be required to make up the difference, which CONCACAF officials believe is best achieved by the proposed joint bid.

“No matter where it’s going to be played, the fact the World Cup is getting larger in terms of nations playing the tournament, will involve the fact there will be a need for more stadiums to be played in.” said Moggio. “There aren’t many countries in the world which can say they will have no problems in hosting this kind of competition. This makes co-hosting bids, such as the one in our region and with three countries involved, more feasible.”

“It’s still too early to decide on feasibility,” he continued. “However, we have three countries in our region, with Mexico, the United States and Canada, which have a better chance of matching the requirements together, not only when it comes to logistics, but also competitive level.”

The comments echo a similar sentiment from new CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, who also supports the prospect of a joint bid to bring the World Cup back to North and Central America for the first time since the US-hosted 1994 edition of the tournament.

But CONCACAF’s sense of cooperation only extends so far. While the confederation is open to more joint-hosted Copa Americas such as last summer’s Centenario, Moggio does not see a future for joint World Cup qualifying as a whole.

“Cooperation with CONMEBOL is important, all things considered. We saw it with the success of Copa America [Centenario], which was a huge hit for both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL,” he said. “The idea of cooperation in tournament organisation is always there and we are in our best disposition to explore different opportunities. However, when it comes to consider merging our Confederations and look for a joint World Cup qualifying pool, I don’t think there’s space for changes.

“We have not had any talks on that matter, neither between Confederations nor at the FIFA level.”

11 comments
  • two cents / lowercase letters guy

    share the love. let england, spain, portugal, germany, italy, and others in europe each host one or two games. england hasn’t had a wc since what, 1960? and didn’t they invent the game? i think it’s stupid to have one country host all the games and all the nearby countries host zero games and after hosting, the people of that country have to wait in line for another fifty or a hundred years until that country ever might host again. just spread the games around — it’s the perfect idea.

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  • Frantz Mathieu Fan

    One issue when you start having a multitude of host nations is how to handle the automatic bids. Once they allot the WC spots for all the confederations, the automatic spots would very likely come from that confederation’s allotment. Man, this 48-team tournament is going to be a nightmare.

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  • TheFrenchOne

    Disagree completely. Let the US put in a solo bid. But I know most of the world will pressure US Soccer to submit a joint bid for the simple fact that the other FIFA members don’t want to be showed up by the US. It aggravates the rest of the world. I experienced this first-hand when I lived in Europe for 18 years. People around the world are generally aggravated that America can pull stuff off that they can only dream of. That’s not ethnocentricism, it’s just reality.

    But here’s something FIFA can latch onto: The 2026 WC will be the first tournament with 48 teams. There is no better way to get this behemoth off to a successful start than hosting it in one country, a country with the existing infrastructure to host it tomorrow. So yeah, it may piss off Mexico, Canada and many other countries, but FIFA would be smart to get this thing off the ground with a sure thing. Then push for joint bids from that point forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • UclaBruinGreat

      The people that have spoken out are from Concacaf, and of course they also represent Mexico and Canada. Like you said they are putting pressure on the U.S. because they don’t want Mexico and Canada to be left out. USA can ignore them or play ball with them. I’m guessing it will come down to what incentives Concacaf gives USA so that they play ball. If USA says no then Canada is automatically eliminated (because they can’t host by themselves with 48 teams and can’t cohost with Mexico with a giant country in-between). So that would set up a USA vs Mexico bid, along with whatever other countries from other continents are allowed.

      That puts either Mexico or USA in a position where they are spending money on a bid process that they will lose, and puts both countries in a position where votes could be split and maybe some other country wins. But that all seems unlikely. I think USA would win in either scenario.

      The only advantage of a Mexico USA and Canada bid is that it guarantees victory and reduces the amount each country would have to spend on the bid process.

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  • Old School

    Frantz brings up a good point with joint bids/hosting nations automatic invite.

    Also, without having access to the numbers, I would find it hard to believe we need the joint bid, or are incapable of pulling it off solo. I imagine Mexico and Canada, on the other hand, likely would benefit from the USA being a part of a joint bid.

    This 48-team field (which will only get bigger each decade) is a disaster. At a certain point qualification will be obsolete…but maybe that’s what their after anyhow. Unfortunately, that’s going to cut into their qualification revenue if all the national teams do is play friendlies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • UclaBruinGreat

      Not disagreeing with most of your points but the tournament won’t be a disaster, especially not in the USA. It will be great. Later on we will see how it goes down in smaller countries that try to host the 48 teams. That will be the true test. History shows us that people always predict disaster (South Africa and Brazil) but things always go smoothly. Qatar will also host a good tournament in 2022.

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      • quozzel

        Sooner or later there’s going to be that one that falls on its face.

        There’s huge potential there for that to happen in Russia. The country is mobbed-up, corrupt as sin, and their supporters completely trashed the Euros. You could see matches getting fixed, out of control fan behavior, doping scandals – good God, if you’re the American team, how do you trust anything you eat or drink over there? – you name it.

        Qatar, who knows what the world’s political climate will be like or even when that tournament is going to be held, winter or summer. I see fifty different ways this tournament could go sideways…not the least of which is, again, how do you protect the athletes?

        You dance along the edge long enough, sooner or later you fall off. And these next two World Cups are as edgy and rife with possible disaster as any events I’ve ever seen.

        Liked by 1 person

  • don Lamb

    I say no for co-hosting for 2026. 2042, sure, we will co-host. But we got screwed on the 2022 vote, so shouldn’t be in the mood to do any favors. However, with such a big field of teams and co-hosting becoming the norm, the rotation should come around much faster than it used to.

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  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    Co qualifying? With South America?

    I don’t like the sound of that…at all.

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  • TomM

    Of course no one favors merging qualifying pools with CONMEBOL because then the CONCACAF nations may often not……..qualify.

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    • thebumswillalwayslose

      I’m absolutely in favor of it, and I’ve been a die-hard USMNT fan since the ’94 World Cup.

      To me, the difference in whether you’re in favor of merging or not comes down to what you find to be more important: essentially assured qualification every cycle, or the opportunity to play better competition on a more regular basis, forcing the team to adapt and – ideally – progress. To get comfortable with the Brazil’s, Argentina’s and Colombia’s of the world, to be battle tested and confident in our ability to step on the field with those teams and actually play with them on a consistent basis, as opposed to hanging on for dear life.

      To be clear, I’m not saying one view is necessarily right or wrong, it’s just what you’re more comfortable with. I can understand wanting to qualify for the World Cup every four years. It’s a fun event that’s a whole lot more fun when we’re in it, and it’s nice to know (mostly) that we can count on being there. I don’t necessarily agree with that line of thinking, but I can absolutely understand it.

      To me, I’d much rather see us have to face better competition – in games that actually matter – on a more regular basis. Is there the possibility that we don’t qualify because of that? Sure. But it’ll make us a better soccer nation. It’ll force us to ask serious and potentially very tough questions of USSF, MLS, our development system, how we identify players, and ultimately the way the game is governed in this country. And, more importantly, it’ll force us to adapt, to evolve, and to improve. Currently, when things get bad we can always fall back on what I’ll call the ‘Arena option’. To go back to what we know works and we know will get us qualified. It doesn’t necessarily progress us, it doesn’t force us to get better, it’s simply a return to being what we’ve been for the last 20 years. But, it does get us through qualification, because we don’t have to progress much in order to qualify in CONCACAF. We just have to be better than Honduras, Trinidad and Panama, and – despite Klinsmann’s best efforts to make it seem as hard as possible – that’s not really all that difficult to do.

      So I suppose it comes down to whether you’re a risk-averse person, or a risk-tolerant person. I’m willing to risk the worst (not qualifying) for the potential reward of improving faster. But again, I understand wanting to play the long-game and hoping we’ll steadily but surely improve.

      Liked by 1 person

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