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Infantino: 2026 World Cup could be joint-hosted by up to 'four countries'

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has made no secret his desire for a massively expanded World Cup, including hosting duties being shared by as many as four countries.

Infantino, who championed the now expanded 48-team World Cup starting in 2026, has stated that not only is he comfortable with the concept of a joint-hosted World Cup, but envisions as many as four countries joining their efforts to host at once.

“We will encourage co-hosting for the World Cup because we need FIFA to show we are reasonable and we have to think about sustainability long-term,” Infantino said. “It is perfectly in line with our sustainability and legacy to maybe bring together two, three, four countries who can jointly present a project with three, four, five stadiums each. We will certainly encourage it. Ideally the countries will be close to each other for the sake of ease of travel.”

While a joint-hosted bid has been previously mentioned, Infantino’s confirmation that FIFA will encourage and seek out co-hosting bids that feature multiple stadiums in multiple countries is a positive sign for a potential CONCACAF joint-bid with the U.S., Mexico, and Canada participating.

Infantino also stated that he was unconcerned about increasing worries regarding violence at the 2018 World Cup in Russia after a very tense 2016 Euros in France, not least because of disruptive Russian supporters.

“I’m not concerned about trouble and violence in 2018,” he said. “I have full confidence in [the] Russian authorities, they are taking this matter very, very seriously.”

He also stated that Video Assistant Referee technology could be implemented as soon as the 2018 World Cup.

“The proposal on the table is about using video technology to help referees,” Infantino said. “I’m really hopeful that for the World Cup in 2018 we can have a video system to help the referee take the right decisions.”

14 comments
  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    If they are talking CONCACAF, and they problem area……I don’t see the need to include Mexico ( not a Mexico or Hispanic hater, need to say that these days I guess ).

    Mexico have hosted as many as anyone. I have no problem with them hosting the most, but when you are getting to FOUR countries jointly. Just make it three, so the other three can actually say they hosted something.

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      • bigprof72

        I agree. No need for a Vancouver to Tijuana world cup. I think this proposal of a 3 or 4 country WC speaks more to Infantino’s fear that Canada could be the primary host in co-hosting with US, especially if the amount of teams goes from 32 to 48. With just 6 good stadiums in CA and 5 in US, the tournament can go off well. Just have back to back doubleheaders like in other tournaments.

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  • SilverRey

    I guess this is an attempt to get smaller countries involved in hosting, where otherwise they would be able to?

    We could do US-Mex-Can & Jamaica. That way the rest of the world gets a taste of CONCACAF qualifying… Maybe replace Mexico with Costa Rica?

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  • evan

    So, we’re gonna follow up a World Cup in a country smaller than Connecticut with one joint-hosted by four countries. right. does anyone take FIFA seriously anymore? can we just throw all these jokers in jail already? this is getting really pathetic. #BoycottFIFA

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  • TheFrenchOne

    I’m starting to like Infantino less and less and missing Sepp Blatter more and more… I wasn’t thrilled about increasing the number of teams from 32 to 48, but I could see some positives. But now he’s talking about potentially 4 nations co-hosting? This is like the guy who wants to please everybody but ends up being hated by everyone. I get that it can be “done”, but this co-hosting should be the exception, not the rule.

    Part of the idea of hosting is that a country puts its cultural stamp on that particular event. But imagine France, Spain, Portugal and Italy co-hosting. Yes, they have the stadiums and the infrastructure to do it, but this would be the Western Europe World Cup, not Espana 1982 or Italia 1990, and something important would be lost.

    And it’s a not-so-subtle message to the US to submit a joint bid with Mexico and Canada, or else. And for that reason alone, that they are being strong-armed into this, I think the US should just take a pass and invest the money they would otherwise spend on their bid and invest it in its youth program.

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    • quozzel

      I agree across the board.

      Why would the USA play nice and take our quarter-share of the World Cup? Especially knowing it would likely DQ us from consideration for at least the next 40 years.

      This is a bone not being chucked just at us but at the rest of North America. Personally I’d do exactly what you suggest…and tell this Eurocentric ween to take his bone and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

      Then I’d personally back an individual bid, probably from Canada. Mexico would be a harder sell because of how many they’ve already hosted.

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      • Super Nintendo Chalmers

        I think Canada is a HARDER sell. First, they would have to convert all of those WC 2015 pitches to grass, but the reality is that they don’t have enough stadia of decent capacity to host a men’s WC. Would I personally rather go to a WC in Canada then Mexico, sure. It’s less than 6 hours to Montreal for me.

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  • KenC

    “we need FIFA to show we are reasonable ”

    Hahaha, yeah, when you expand the competition to 48 teams, requiring 12 groups, not too many countries can host that many games in that many large stadia.

    Can someone arrest this Blatter-disciple?

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  • Smacking

    This doesn’t bother me if it’s executed appropriately.

    It’s obviously not as necessary in the US but this would certainly broaden the list of available hosts without overburdening smaller countries. Games wouldnt necessarily have to be split equally to each country. In North America you can have a main host with a few games in smaller countries. Sure, you loose the single national identity, but the WC is all about bringing people of the world together and there’s plenty of opportunity to play that up at individual games. I’d love to see the passion come out from a small country playing host to the world, even if it’s just a few opening round games.

    Like

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