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U.S., Mexico, Canada announce joint bid for 2026 World Cup

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.

56 comments
    • Chase

      Agreed. Thank you Mex and Can for essentially ensuring that we get the WC and letting us still host 75% of the games and also helping us to gain political points around the globe by showing off how good we are at sharing and being nice to others.

      Like

      • two cents/lowercase letters guy

        people like you make me sick. instead of trying to screw everybody and wondering why nobody likes us, why not actually share the games and actually care about other countries?

        thank you mexico, thank you Canada and thank you, rob.

        Like

    • jus sayin'

      Yes…. mil gracias a Mexico!!!…. for….for… farming out a good portion of their games to be played in the U.S.? Business…. and I do mean business as usual. Just like all the friendlies played on U.S. soil… make a lot of ponchos happy, but in the end, it is selling out the Mexican fans to line FMF’s MF’n pockets.

      Like

  • Shaggie96

    60-10-10 seems more like a token than an actual bid share. I knew the US would host more games than Canada, but I thought it might be more even with Mexico.

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    • UclaBruinGreat

      I am surprised too but atleast this should shut up all the people that were whining and complaining about sharing the World Cup. The vast majority of it is still in the U.S. including the knockout games after the group stage. Obviously the USMNT isn’t going to play any games in Canada or Mexico. US Soccer gets two other federations to help with the cost of the bid process, and they also eliminate Mexico as a competitor for the World Cup (Mexico would have also made a solo bid if the U.S. went that route). Mexico and Canada also help the USA in the PR department (whether the bad PR the U.S. has is deserved or not). Looking at it like that this was a no brainer for US Soccer.

      Like

    • MidWest Ref

      I think that this is a Michael Scott win-win-win. Canada gets to host; US avoids competition within CONCACAF; and the US hosts all of the knock-out games. I really thought that Mexico, at least, would have wanted a semi-final in Azteca

      The division of games in the group stage will be interesting to watch. Each group would have 3 teams – meaning 3 games. There are 16 groups – so 48 group games. Wouldn’t it have been easier to give 12 games – or 4 groups – each to Canada and Mexico?

      But you could also have a northwest grouping of San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver this way. Or a west-southwest grouping of LA, San Diego and Tijuana. Or Monterrey, San Antonio, Houston.

      this could be a lot of fun.

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      • wsmithers

        My guess is that there will be 2 groups is each of Mexico and Canada. Then the 2 teams that advance from the hosts’ groups will play the next 2 rounds in the same country. That’s 6 group games, 2 round of 32 games, and 2 round of 16 games in each of Mexico and Canada.

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      • MidWest Ref

        I thought the plan was 16 groups of 3 teams, with only the winner going through. so where is there a round of 32.

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    • UclaBruinGreat

      It will be great. There has been too much complaining about the expanded World Cup and about the joint bid. Gulati was smart to get ahead of the “but Trump, but the travel ban” arguments that competing bids would have surely used. I’m sure that played a factor in him considering the joint bid.

      As far as the expanded WC, it reminds me so much of college football. People always love to assume that team A is clearly better than team B just off of perception. “Ol’ Miss is an SEC team they will crush Memphis!”, but then the game happens and Memphis wins. Just a few extra teams from Asia, and Africa and Concacaf, won’t dillute the tournament that much. UEFA and Conmebol are also getting extra teams. Look at Iceland in the Euros, they made the Euros better and added a little something to the tournament (also recently expanded). People shouldn’t knock it until they atleast see it play out.

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      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        Iceland qualified on their own merit though and did not need any of the extra spots. That argument doesn’t hold any water.
        Concacaf is pretty weak below US, Mexico and CR, and very few Asian or African countries have done any damage at major tournaments. There is no evidence to suggest adding even more nations from these regions will do anything to improve quality. However, there will be strong teams added from Europe and South America, but the rest of the additions will be feeding sheep to the lions.

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      • MidWest Ref

        To the Unmistakable – what you appear to be arguing against is the increase of teams in the WC in general, not the tripod hosting of the same. However, with the increase in teams, it seems to be easier to spread the hosting job.

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      • Shaggie96

        Unmistakeable, it’s clearly not about quality, it’s about access and exposure (i.e. $$$). Since only maybe eight teams have anything more than a snowball’s chance in hell of winning any World Cup, if they were concerned about quality they wouldn’t invite more than those eight teams. We know going in that the U.S. has virtually no chance of winning, but we as fans still want to see our team get in and play. How is it going to be any different for these additional 16 teams?

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      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        My argument was simply against the idea presented by UCLA that a surprise team like Iceland could emerge from expanding the WC. Since Iceland did not need the expanded slots to qualify for euros that argument does not make sense. However, you are right. I don’t like the expansion plans at all and the proposed 2 game group stage is worrying to me as well.

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  • Edwin in LA

    It actually makes sense if they only have a few games in Mexico and Canada, although I was thinking it would be more like 20-20 and 60….

    Really hoping LA gets a venue, and maybe even 2 in California with the new Rams Stadium and 49ers stadium…can’t imagine Seattle, New York, Dallas, Houston and Maryland with the Redskins stadium not getting games…probably followed by Phoenix/Glendale, AZ, KC…etc etc I’m thinking a renovated Miami stadium also locks them as a venue

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      Of course Los Angeles will be one of the sites. They are always #1 on the list. Don’t worry about that.

      Like

  • beto

    60-10-10 divides evenly into 5 games each across 16 stadiums; 12 USA, 2 Mexican, 2 Canadian

    or

    2 games a stadium, 30 USA, 5 Mex, 5 Canada

    i think they go with the first option! but we could pull of the second option if we wanted to.

    Like

  • downintexas

    1st US game Toronto. 2nd US game LA 3rd US game Mexico City. Once again with the most miles for any team

    Liked by 1 person

  • downintexas

    Way to go Canada! You get to the WC by the two greatest words in the English language De fault! de fault de fault

    Like

  • Joey Joe Joe

    This is pretty much the US hosting. I don’t see how the Mexican fans would be happy with such a low number of matches.

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    • Chase

      Considering that most their games are already in the US, I think they’ll be ok 😉

      Plus, they get to spin it as being the first country to host 3 WC, so they’ll still make a ton of money domestically from sponsorships.

      Honestly, this is a no-brainer and likely a template that will be followed from here on out.

      Plus, having 3 countries involved (with the additional games) basically gaurantees that we will absolutely smash all the numbers from the Qatar and Russia WC, so it will be like an F U from America, and the Can and Mex federations also get to be a part of those numbers. It is literally a win-win-win.

      Like

      • two cents/lowercase letters guy

        chase, you remind me of that guy in the movie avatar who wants to knock down the ancient home tree and crush all of the blue people because financially that makes sense if you can get the unobtanium.

        because you know relationships with people aren’t important. what’s important is using other people to get the things we want. right, chase?

        Like

      • Chase

        two cents: you misread, bro (perhaps I was unclear). I was saying the FU would be to Russia and Qatar since we were pissed about “losing” those bids. I love that it will be a 3 country cohost. I was surprised that we got 75% of the matches, but I sure ain’t complaining lol. This WC is going to be an absolute monster success, and I think it will be great for CONCACAF (especially if we can leverage the 3 automatic spots into getting 7 or 8 teams in).

        Like

      • two cents/lowercase letters guy

        agree it will be a monster success if we get it. sorry if i misread your comments. how to say? maybe not you, but some people talk as if the usa is “entitled” to get the next wc (and we are not!) and like the “manifest destiny” BS that rationalized forced indian marches and relocations (where is my barf bag?) it seems that the soccer version of manifest destiny is “the usa is ENTITLED to the wc, therefore we are fully justified in using any means to screw other nations out of hosting.” hoping/glad if u r not one, bro!!!

        Like

  • IvanRG

    Mexico will have a huge backing in the US. The Mexican federation is likely to profit immensely by playing in the US, witch seems an economically driven decision for them to play only 10 games in Mexico. The US is basically a second home.

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      There is no way that Mexico will be a co-host of the World Cup and not have Mexico play all of their group stage games in Mexico. I could be wrong but I would be shocked. It would be a bad look. The only way Mexico will play games in the U.S. is if they advance past the group stage to the knockout games that are in the U.S.

      Like

      • MidWest Ref

        Remember – under the 16 groups of 3 – each team plays 2 times – so it is not too hard to see Mexico with an opening game in Azteca followed by a game in Monterrey or Guadalajara. then you have to believe it would have knock out games in San Diego, LA or Houston.

        Like

      • two cents/lowercase letters guy

        i heard that, MIDwest ref! for the sake of all of the Mexican people, i hope you are right.

        Like

  • TheFrenchOne

    If this 60-10-10 split is for real, then I will be the first to take back my previous objection to a joint bid. My worry is that the Mexican fans will throw a big enough tantrum over the next 3 years that they end adjusting the numbers to something closer to even, like 40-30-10.

    This just feels a bit too much like a bait and switch…

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      My initial reaction to your post is that I doubt it, I’m sure this has already been negotiating by USA, Mexico and Canada and what is done is done. Mexico and Canada took what they could get. That’s my logical side.

      The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that what you say is possible because Gulati did say, “Final decision is up to FIFA, but of the 80 World Cup games, 60 would be played in the U.S., including from quarterfinals”. Key words, “Final decision is up to FIFA.”

      Like

      • TheFrenchOne

        UCLA:

        I realize that my post sounded a bit paranoid, and I hope that I’m wrong, but FIFA (and the Olympic Committee) has a history of making demands on host countries after they have accepted bids. Listen, if this ends up being USSoccer starting high, knowing it will end up with 45-50 games, I can live with that. Like you pointed out, Gulati said FIFA gets to make the final call. I could just see them leaning on us to share more games so that we don’t come across as “selfish” or “imperialistic bullies” or some bs like that.

        Like

    • MidWest Ref

      I have not heard too many negative comments about Canada hosting the Women’s World Cup . . . except for the artificial turf issue. As a result, I can’t see too many games going to Canada . . and ten seems about the right mix. A couple in Toronto, a couple in Montreal, and then . . . Vancouver?

      Like

  • Smacking

    I’m all for co-hosting but wish they used it to let smaller countries that otherwise wouldn’t be realisticly capable of hosting get in on the fun. Just eliminate the auto berth or eliminate it for countries hosting less than X games. I’d love to see a Caribbean or Central American country host some opening round games. If the three largest countries are already involve, we might as well make it an event for the entire region.

    Like

    • Shaggie96

      I’d love to see this too, but the problem would be stadium size and field quality. Nobody outside of the big three has a stadium that would qualify (that I can think of anyway) and the fields are too poor.

      Like

    • Shaggie96

      Then from here on out only the richest countries will stage World Cups. There has been enormous push back for the boondoggle stadium construction required in South Africa and Brazil and having more than one country host will minimize, if not eliminate, the number of new stadiums being built. That’s how it should be. It is utter nonsense to expect new stadiums to be built to host this event in the future.

      Like

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        I agree this is the beginning of a trend for smaller countries to co-bid. Could easily see a “Scandanavia world cup” an “east Africa WC” “UK World Cup” etc.

        The scale of the tournament has grown immensely in the last 20 years or so and can only realistically be handled by a handful of individual nations without a major infrastructure overhaul. Joint bids will spread the burden some to avoid the issues that plagued Brazil and South Africa to an extent.

        Like

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        West Africa* East would be difficult…

        Like

  • Jeff

    40-20-20, that should be fair and logical. More group games in Canada and Mexico with the knockouts in the US for reasons of travel and logistics. 60-10-10 is an insult. Sounds like something Trump would put together.

    Like

    • Scott

      Your life must be miserable…because I bet you can’t think of anything without thinking about/mentioning Trump. This is a soccer website. Perhaps you could STFU about politics while on it?

      Like

      • Jeff

        Or you can realize that that is the lens through which Mexican fans will be reacting to this proposal (and are). So how about you STFU and realize that it is insulting, especially in this current political environment.

        Like

    • bobbyoshea

      You know what I think Trump would have done? And it would have been beautiful, just the best. You couldn’t find a better deal than this anywhere. Here it is: Hey Mexico, we’ll let you host 10 games in the World Cup if you send some money to pay for the wall. Because lets face it, you aren’t going to bid on your own.. and if you did, you’d lose. We’re throwing you a bone here. All you gotta do is take it.

      But seriously, what would have made this announcement even better is if Sunil had apologized for the way our country shines like a beacon of hope to Mexican citizens such that they will flee the loving embrace of ole Mexico to come to this racist, fascist, misogynistic, jingoistic hell hole we call the USA. I’m going to take another Xany and listen to some more NPR podcasts now.

      Like

      • UclaBruinGreat

        I recognize the less than serious and sarcastic tone of your post, but I can’t resist on commenting about the ol’ false dilemma fallacy in your post. One of many fallacies used here on SBI by people that probably don’t even know they are using it…

        In short, it is possible to both recognize that the United States is a great country that immigrants want to come to for a chance of improving their lot in life, and also recognize that within the United States certain groups are discriminated against and … well you covered it in your post.

        Like

  • johnnyrazor

    Mexico only has seven stadiums that seat 40,000 or more (Brazil had 12 with 39,500+) so that limits them and of those seven, six are in Guadalajara, Mexico City, or Monterrey so hosting more than 10 or 15 would be putting a lot of matches in those three cities.

    Of the 100 largest stadiums in North America, 91 are in the United States, Mexico has four and Canada three. It just makes sense Canada and Mexico don’t have the stadiums for a men’s tournament to host a significant number of matches. Since Mexico hosted in 1986 using six stadiums with capacity below 40,000, only France has used more than two with less than 40,000. There are a couple in Canada that could be expanded from their CFL capacities and a couple in Mexico, but those again are in cities with larger stadiums that would likely host anyway.

    Likely hosts
    Azteca 4 matches (or 3 with one at Olympic Stadium)
    Jalisco 3 matches (perhaps one at Chivas)
    Monterrey 3 matches
    Puebla with an outside shot at a match or two

    Sky Dome 3 matches
    Olympique 3 matches
    BC Place 4 matches
    Calgary or Edmonton could get a match as well

    Like

  • Chase

    I can’t believe how bad some of the people on here are at math… We know that Mex and Can will each host 10 games. I read on another site that US will host the quarter finals and on. This means we’ll likely have 16 groups of 3:

    1) 4 groups in Mex and Can for a total of 8 games in group stage (2 games each instead of 3).
    2) 2 knockout games for the four group winners.
    3) Then the two teams still in it head over the the good ‘ol U S of A.

    I’m not saying this is how it will work, but it is amusing how many people are throwing out scenarios that don’t add up to 10 games or would be a nightmare from a travel standpoint.

    Like

    • MidWest Ref

      Chase – each group of 3 teams will have three games – A v. B, A v. C, B v. C -so four groups = 12 games. Using your platform, i guess you could have 3 groups each in Mex and Can for a total of 9 games; then each gets 1 round of 16 game.

      Like

      • johnnyrazor

        Which would lead to the winner of the Mexico Group playing the winner of one of the other groups that played in Mexico and likewise for the Canada group although ten years out it seems unlikely Canada would get through a group.

        I still would prefer 12 groups of 4 and let the top 4 2nd place finishers in. Everyone would still have to try to win every match in order to finish in the top of the 2nd place teams so there would be no playing for draws.

        Like

      • Chase

        Ha straight fail on my part. Thanks for pointing that out.

        I’m interested to see the proposed games, then. I would have thought they would want to limit limit international travel. Perhaps you are right about the game breakdown, but it does seem odd to me.

        Although, under your scenario, Mex and Can could each get their knockout game (hopefully we all three advance) in their own country while the other teams travel here.

        Like

    • Shaggie96

      I can’t think of a scenario that involves Mexico groups or Canada groups. Each group will have three games. If you had two groups in Canada that would be six group games, then two round of 32 and one round of 16 for nine games. My guess is it will be like all of the other WCs. They may try to regionalize with cities in the U.S., but only Mexico and Canada will have all of their games in those countries. All of the other games will simply be played wherever they’re played. Flights between the Mexican cities and southern U.S. cities will be shorter than a lot of the flights in Brazil and the same with Canada and the northern U.S. cities that will be involved.

      Like

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