74 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

North America warms to 2026 World Cup bid with 46 cities hunting a piece of the action

August 18 – Thirty-four cities in the United States, seven in Canada and three in Mexico, in all encompassing 49 stadia, are on a list of proposed venues to host the 2026 World Cup, the United Bid Committee for the three prospective joint hosts has announced.

Each city has been contacted to gauge interest and has been requested to declare that interest to take part in the bid process by September 5.

Altogether there will be 80 matches in 2026 as the tournament expands to 48 teams. The US would host three-quarters of them, with Mexico and Canada staging 10 each.

Once expressions of interests have been declared, the bid committee will whittle the entries down to a shortlist of between 20 and 25 venues for the final bid to FIFA. Thereafter, 12 locations are likely to be chosen for the finals themselves

“The Host Cities included in our bid will be critical to its success – not only because of their facilities and ability to stage major events, but because they are committed to further developing the sport of soccer by harnessing the impact of hosting a FIFA World Cup – and looking beyond the game itself to make a positive contribution to our communities and the world,” said United Bid Committee executive director John Kristick.

If successful, the US-Canada-Mexico bid would return the World Cup to the United States for the first time since 1994, and would also make Mexico the first three-time host.  But they face opposition from Morocco which has announced officially that it is trying for the fifth time to stage the tournament even though ultimately it may prove to be a token challenge.

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