After months of speculation, the first official bid for the 2026 World Cup has been unveiled.
The United States, Mexico and Canada officially announced on Monday their intention to launch a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup.
“This is a milestone day for U.S. Soccer and for CONCACAF,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. “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. Along with our partners from the Canadian Soccer Association and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, we are confident that we will submit an exemplary bid worthy of bringing the FIFA World Cup back to North America.
“The United States, Mexico and Canada have individually demonstrated their exceptional abilities to host world-class events. When our nations come together as one, as we will for 2026, there is no question the United States, Mexico and Canada will deliver an experience that will celebrate the game and serve players, supporters and partners alike.”
Gulati said that the plan for the World Cup is 80 games given the expanded field. The bid proposes hosting 60 matches in the U.S., 10 in Mexico and 10 in Canada. The U.S. Soccer president also indicated that all matches past the quarterfinals would be played in the United States.
Montagliani stated that he “would assume” that all of the games will be played on grass. Three of the 10 host venues for Copa America Centenario had natural grass playing surfaces, while Canada has just two in Toronto’s BMO Field and Montreal’s Stade Saputo.
At least six CONCACAF nations will qualify, but as many as eight could reach the final tournament thanks to the intercontinental playoffs. The rest of the teams will consist of 16 from UEFA, nine from Africa, eight from Asia, six from CONCACAF and one from Oceania.
The three nations have combined to host a total of 13 FIFA World Cups combined on the men’s, women’s and youth levels. Other countries can submit bids up to Dec. 2018. The 2026 host will be named in May 2020.