We could see something unusual come 2026. The FIFA World Cup could be hosted by three countries on the same continent. Representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, Mexican Football Federation, and Canadian Soccer Association partnered together in a bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
There is just one problem facing the North American 2026 World Cup bid, the President of the United States of America. Recent policies put into place by the Trump administration seen as negatives have trickled down to the soccer world. The problem spills into intangible obstacles facing the bid and gives the competing bid an advantage.
One Problem Facing the North American 2026 World Cup Bid
Start of the Bid
The joint bid’s biggest cheerleader is outgoing U.S. Soccer president, Sunil Gulati. He’s reached out to the neighbors to the North and South to highlight the increasing popularity of the sport on the continent. FIFA plans to move to a 48 team tournament, which can cause issues for a hosting nation. Not with this bid. The infrastructure is already there in all three of these countries to responsibly host the tournament and turn a major profit as well.
Each nation has their own experiences hosting World Cups at the men’s, women’s and youth levels. Stadiums and hotels ranging in a variety of sizes will help to showcase the matches and house the teams and fans from around the world. The only question, will they want to visit North America in the future?
The Trump Factor
Time and time again a news notification will pop up and it is about the President. The 24-hour news cycle revolves around something he said or did. Recent headlines discuss the exclamatory rhetoric used by the President to describe other people’s gender, race, religion, and nationality. The world has taken notice of this and it’s now their image of the United States. Soccer and the World Cup unify the world with the common love for the beautiful game.
Gulati knows this to be an intangible issue that is completely out of the control of the joint bid team. They keep the faith that everything will turn out all right. They hope to show a shining example of diplomacy on the continent with this joint bid. Other competitors for this bid see this as an opportunity to make their case.
Room for Opportunity
Morocco is using this as traction for their bid toward the 2026 World Cup. The country is coming off numerous failed bids and allegations of bribery. They are going off the trend of firsts for the most recent World Cups with the first African World Cup, South Africa 2010 and the first Muslim majority country to host with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The committee will look intensely at their infrastructure plan to support such a huge event. The Morrocan Federation hopes to surprise many with how strong their infrastructure is and commercial offer for the World Cup.
Looking to the Future
Time will tell if more antics will come out of Washington. Without a crystal ball, it’s still pretty easy to predict it will happen. Let’s hope this will not have an effect on the North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The deadline to turn in final paperwork is March 16. Gulati and the rest of the bid team from Canada and Mexico will work feverishly to prove they are the viable hosting option.