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FIFA announces rules for 2026 World Cup hosting bid process


With the 2018 and 2022 World Cups firmly set for Russia and Qatar, 2026 is the next target for potential hosts, and the chances of a USA World Cup received a big boost from the new guidelines set out for FIFA’s new bid process.

The FIFA Council held meetings in Switzerland this week, and chief among the subjects covered was the process and guidelines that will determine the host the 2026 World Cup, guidelines which appear to be very favorable for a U.S. bid.

As expected, FIFA declared that the host confederations of the two previous World Cups would be ineligible for hosting in 2026, ruling out any bid from UEFA (Russia) and the Asian Football Confederation (Qatar). UEFA would be eligible to host if no other bids meet FIFA requirements, which would be unlikely if the United States does choose to bid, as expected.

The lack of a bid from UEFA and the AFC rules out a large chunk of the competition for the 2026 bid, including China and Australia.

Also potentially benefiting the United States prove more attractive financially than any competing bids from individual countries.

FIFA also announced that the 2026 World Cup may host a 40-48 format, pending further discussions in January when a final decision will be made.

In a side note affecting U.S. soccer, FIFA also approved a change of dates for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 from July 9-30, 2017 to July 7-26, 2017.


  1. As a Canadian, Canada would bring several key things:
    1) I greatly appreciate what the US Feds did in stepping in to arrest so many corrupt FIFA members, but let’s not kid ourselves: there’s a lot of federations around the world that are probably still mad about that. A joint bid would alleviate some of that anger.
    2) The Canadian Soccer Association has been making plans for years to place a bid for this tournament. It’s the only major FIFA tournament yet to be hosted here. And you know that FIFA likes to take the tournament to new places.
    3) If the tournament stays at 32 teams, Canada will likely launch a solo bid. There’s enough stadiums (or will be if we win) to host a tournament of that size. Hotels, infrastructure, safety, etc, are all world class and would be more than acceptable. If the tournament expands to 48 teams, that’s when the CSA would likely be looking at a joint bid.
    4) Travel between the US and Canada is fairly straight forward.
    5) Like it or not, the head of CONCACAF is Canadian. You know he’ll be able to pull a few strings, and I’m not even saying that he’ll have to be corrupt to do it. I’m just saying that’s an advantage.

    I’m not saying the US couldn’t host on it’s on. But I’m saying FIFA really seems to be angling for a joint bid, and a Canada-US joint bid would make a lot of sense.

  2. Until FIFA makes the award process more transparent I’m hoping that the US does not bid on any future World Cups. The last bid process was such a disaster and riddled with corruption that I don’t want us involved until they clean up their act.

    Quatar is guaranteed to be a disaster. It is likely to go down as the least attended cup in history. Players & what fans that actually attend are going to be exposed to serious health issues associated with the the extreme heat. They’re also going to face advertising issues due to the human rights issues.

    Lastly I don’t want the US to save FIFA’s financial ass after the failures in 2022.

    • Qatar will not be a disaster. It is ridiculous to think so. Qatar is a very small, and ultra-wealthy country. Everything will be state of the art and since the country is so small, traveling around to all the different venues will be fast and easy and convenient. The government has iron-grip control over the country and will do whatever they need to do to put forward the best tournament and experience they can. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them temporarily suspended alot of their laws especially in regards to alcohol. Yes it is hot in the summer, but that WC will likely be in the winter so daytime temperatures will be in the low to mid 70s which is much better than temperatures during a USA summer world cup.

      Look I know we don’t like their politics or human rights or the fact they took the WC from us by cheating, but to say their WC will be a disaster is silly and wrong. That assumption is based on emotion not logic.

  3. Can someone explain from a United States perspective why we’d want/need Mexico or Canada to be included with a bid for the World Cup?

    Sincere question: what are the advantages over a solo hosting?

    • For the US? None.

      I don’t think there will end up being a combined bid. Both Canada and Mexico have enough stadiums to host. As for hotels and infrastructure (and stable cities)? That is where they might be lacking.

      • Canada does not have enough large stadia to host a men’s WC. They used every largish stadium in the country, except the Rogers Centre & BMO Field. They even used a small stadium in one of the Maritime provinces. I think fewer than 8 and maybe as little as 6 different stadia were used for the women’s WC last year. Mexico might have enough stadia for a 32 team mundial but probably not enough for a 40 or 48 team tournament.

    • The only benefit I can think of is that absolutely no money would need to be spent on the bidding process. We can pretty much assume Conmebol won’t bid after all the Brazil drama and the economys of those countries, and UEFA and Asia can’t bid. I can’t see an African country bidding and from Oceania only New Zealand could bid but they won’t. So the only likely competition would be from Mexico or Canada. If you team up with one of them then the bid is in the bag. You could literally just send Fifa a letter saying “We want it” and then not spend a dime after that. Countries usually spend alot of money trying to make their bids as attractive as possible (also for the bribes). Then Mexico and USA could split any costs, and profits.

    • We do not need to co-host. FIFA is encouraging co-hosting for countries who may not have the infrastructure to host a 36-40 team World cup. The US could conceivably host a World Cup, twice as big as the proposed one. No other country has the sports infrastructure, the airline and transportation infrastructure and the accommodation infrastructure the US has.
      every year the US hosts the college Bowls (30+ games) 2M attendance, the NFLL, NBA, and NHL playoffs which are all mult-igame, multi Million attendance. every year we host the NCAA BB tournament, the biggest of all, with an estimated attendance of 27 million (The WC has about 3.5Million) We do this every year.

      The US does not have to co-host. If the USSF decides to co-host, they need to extract concessions from possible co-hosts Mexico or Canada or both. The USSF could ask for a favorable resolution of a future MLS vs CPL conundrum and it could extract a concession from Mexico to allow the CCL quarters and finals to start 30-45 days later. Mexico has consistently opposed moving those dates.

      The US has no need to have a co-host bid, but id they do, they would need to leveraage the largess with some solid actions from the co-hosts.

  4. Is Qatar really a lock to host in 2022? I see that being pulled away. Especially if FIFA makes the asinine move of making it a 48 team tournament. If the table is being set for EEUU ’26, the ’22 tournament should go to Australia. They were the best of the rest of the non-European teams (meaning England).

  5. To me, if the increase the number of teams to 48 with a 32-team preliminary round to determine the last 16 for the group stage, then I think one obvious possibility is the preliminary round in one country (i.e., Mexico or Canada) and the rest of the WC in another country (the US).

  6. One thing this article doesn’t state is that IN 2030 the World Cup will most likely be hosted by Uruguay or some joint bid with them in it as it will be the 100th anniversary, therefore there will most likely be no bid from South America.

  7. The US is an obvious choice to host major tournaments of any kind. You can get here from anywhere in the world very easily, we have the best infrastructure for moving large amounts of people around, dozens of high quality sites to chose from and I think the biggest advantage is we have large groups of people from every country in the world already living here. Even the smallest countries would have decent fan support. Plus Amercians love rooting for the underdogs ourselves.

    • COMNEBOL agrees with you.

      “Even the smallest countries would have decent fan support” – this is going a little too far though. No matter where they are held, the group stages typically have a lot of empty seats in the stadium.

    • Mexico is one of the few countries that have hosted twice already. I don’t hate it either, but US can do alone, as 1994 was the most successful, extremely organized and well run

      and US hosting should be again.

  8. Can’t wait to see captain Cameron Carter-Vickers receive the trophy from FIFA President Loretta Lynch on America’s 250th birthday.

  9. Not going to say the US is a lock, but what other nations from the eligible confeds want to take on what may likely be a 48 team tourney?

    The other thing I take from this is that China, won’t be eligible to host until 2030! Their leader, Xi Jinping really wants to qualify for a WC, but given that the Chinese team just lost to Syria and Uzbekistan. It’ll be a race to see if they can qualify before they can host and automatically qualify.


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