North American alliance confident of a transparent and clean 2026 World Cup bid process

By Andrew Warshaw in Manama, Bahrain

July 10 – Organisers of the three-country  north American 2026 World Cup bid insist the bid will be clean and not be faced with any allegations of wrongdoing.

CONCACAF was one of the two confederations humiliated by the FifaGate scandal, with a raft of its senior executives brought down either by ethics investigations or the US judicial authorities – or both.

But after their latest extraordinary congress here, organisers re-iterated the confederation’s efforts to project a new image of transparency and put its unfortunate past behind it.

“It’s a fair question,” said US Soccer president Sunil Gulati. “Everyone involved in the bid will have the highest ethical standards. You won’t see cases of people passing background checks and then found to be guilty of certain violations.”

FIFA decided on Tuesday to leave open the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup until August, rejecting an attempt by the United States, Canada and Mexico to fast-track their plans. Much has been made of a potential bid from perennial bridesmaids Morocco but so far that has not materialised.

Gulati hinted it might though that would only work if it was a joint bid with a fellow African country given the expansion to 48 finalists in 2026 and the need for sufficient facilities.

“Morocco is always the one that is mentioned,” said Gulati. “Not surprising because they’ve bid before. We had a chat with them yesterday. It’s possible they may bid but we will make sure we meet all the FIFA standards. The effort we make will be respective of whether other countries bid.”

Mexican FA chief Decio de Maria repeated previous assertions that his football-mad nation would be happy with hosting just 10 of the 80 proposed games even though the Mexican media have been up in arms.

“I’ve been asked this many times,” he said. “We always wanted to host for a third time and as things are today we are very glad we can be partners. Whether 10 games are not enough or too many, that’s secondary.”

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