Canada and Mexico have joined the US in a joint-bid
It may still be almost a decade away, but the 2026 World Cup is already in sight for many teams.
On Monday evening, the US Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and Federación Mexicana de Fútbol confirmed they were to have a joint-bid to bring the tournament to North America.
As Qatar and Russia are the two previous hosts of the tournament, no Asian team are allowed bid to host the 2026 tournament, while it's unlikely that a European association will do so either. That leave the North American bid looking in a very strong position.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first in an expanded format. With the teams increasing from 32 to 48, the number of matches will also increase from 64 matches to 80.
While the bid is being branded as being from all three countries, it clearly favours the United States. Of the 80 games, 60 will be played in America, with Mexico and Canada each hosting ten each. All matches from the quarter-finals onward will be played in the US.
Mexico (1970 and 1986) and the United States (1994) have both previously hosted the tournament, but Canada have yet to do so. The Canadians have only qualified once for the tournament (Mexico 86) and look most likely to benefit from hosting the event.
Canada has hosted the Women's World Cup in 2015 and Under-20 World Cup in 2007 to great success. At the launch event in New York, Victor Montagliani, the Canadian Soccer Association President said he hoped the country's bid would be helped by their previous experiences of hosting FIFA events.
The 2002 World Cup was the only previous occasion where there were joint hosts. On that occasion, Japan and South Korea split the games 50-50, with the Yokohama Stadium in Japan holding the final.