MOSCOW, Russia, CMC – Continental governing body CONCACAF has labelled FIFA’s decision to award the region the 2026 World Cup, as a “monumental victory” for the confederation.
FIFA, football’s world governing body, announced yesterday that it had accepted the joint bid by United States, Canada and Mexico, to host the showpiece.
Members voted overwhelmingly 134-65 against Morocco’s bid, in a move that will see the World Cup return to the CONCACAF region for the first time since 1994.
CONCACAF governs football in North, Central America and the Caribbean, with the 31-member Caribbean Football Union a part of the bloc.
“We are very excited and humbled that the FIFA Member Associations have entrusted the CONCACAF region with the honor of hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup in its new extended format,” the confederation said in a statement.
“This is a monumental victory for the CONCACAF family, as the United Bid exemplified the strong collaboration, beyond politics and business, that currently exists in our region.
“We would like to thank all the member associations who supported the United Bid, which can now test the effectiveness of a multi-nation hosting model for fulfilling the requirements of an expanded FIFA World Cup format, opening the doors for other nations in the future to come together to bid for this honor.”
The 2026 showpiece will feature an expanded format, bumped to 48 teams from 32, following a unanimous decision by FIFA last January. There will be 80 matches played instead of 64, with a preliminary group featuring 16 groups of three.
Two of the nations involved in the joint bid – the United States and Mexico – have both staged World Cups in the past. The US put on the 1994 event while Mexico hosted tournaments in 1970 and 1986.
Canada, meanwhile, who have made a lone appearance at the World Cup back in 1986, will host the tournament for the first time. “We would also like to congratulate the member associations of Canada, Mexico and the United States, as well as the United Bid team, for winning the bid for the CONCACAF region,” CONCACAF said.
“Over the next eight years, CONCACAF and its member associations will continue to support our three host countries and FIFA as they prepare to host the world’s largest sporting competition, and welcome 48 teams alongside their millions of fans.
We will all also work together to leverage this opportunity as a platform to accelerate the development of football in our own region, with the potential to bring positive social impact through football, as well as breaking records of attendance and revenue that will contribute to the sustainability of our game.”
The 2022 World Cup will be staged in the Gulf state of Qatar.