The US, Canada, and Mexico want to host the 2026 World Cup together — here's how it would work

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The United States, Canada, and Mexico are discussing a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup according to Victor Montagliani who is president of the CONCACAF.

"Canada, the US, and Mexico are aiming for a joint bid," Montagliani told The Guardian.

"The idea has been around for a while, discussions are continuing, and it is a very exciting proposition if it comes to fruition," said Montagliani, who runs international football in the North, Central American, and Caribbean regions.

He added: "We have had nothing but positive remarks about it and it is a very strong sign of what football can do to bring countries together."

How would it work?

The only time FIFA approved a joint bid was for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

If the US, Canada, and Mexico replicated that model, then group games and early knockout rounds would be played in signature stadiums in key host cities involving all three nations.

The semi-finals would likely take place at stadiums like the 87,000 capacity Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The final could take place at the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Texas.

Hosting a World Cup can prove costly as stadiums have to be developed. South Korea, for instance, promised to spend $1.3 billion (£1.05 billion) building 10 stadiums in time for the 2002 tournament.

However, such costs would be avoided in the CONCACAF bid as Canada, the US, and Mexico already have a number of excellent stadia to choose from.

Improvements to current sports sites, improvements to public transport, and other infrastructure costs would likely be split between each host nation in this joint bid. 

Isn't it a bit early to talk about 2026?

Not really.

With Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup ahead of the 2022 tournament in Qatar, bids to host the 2026 competition may not be formally expected until June but must be submitted by a December 2018 deadline.

Each bid will then be assessed and scrutinised before a formal announcement in 2020.

Germany was the last nation to get their hands on the World Cup and will defend the trophy in Russia, next year.Ben Radford / Getty Images

Why make a joint bid when the US, Canada, and Mexico could host the tournament on their own?

The 2026 World Cup will be the first to include 48 international teams, an expansion from the current model that sees 32 sides vie for the iconic golden trophy.

Though the US, Canada, and Mexico would have the necessary infrastructure to host a bid on their own, a joint bid carries more weight and has previously been welcomed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

"We will encourage co-hosting for the World Cup because we have to think about sustainability long-term," Infantino told the media earlier this year, as quoted by The Independent.

"[We could] bring together two, three [or] four countries who can jointly present a project with three, four, five stadiums each. Ideally the countries will be close to each other," Infantino added.

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