CONCACAF prefers 2026 World Cup bid with U.S., Mexico, Canada - Moggio
CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio has said that he favours a three-way 2026 World Cup bid with Mexico, the United States and Canada, echoing comments made last week by new CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani.
FIFA's decision last week to expand the 2026 tournament -- to 48 teams from 32, playing 80 games instead of 64 -- increased the chances of co-hosting to share the load.
The U.S. has said they will aggressively bid for hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup and CONCACAF officials believe that the chances of success with the three-way bid increase with the recently-approved changes.
"Obviously, this is a high priority for our region. It is time to have the World Cup back at CONCACAF, considering the last time we had hosting duties was in 1994 in the U.S. It is a strong region in sporting and economic terms," Moggio told ESPN Deportes.
"As our president [Victor Montagliani] has said, there is a strong case for a bid and we can be there. We only have to put in our best effort in order to achieve it."
FIFA will decide on the host country for the 2026 World Cup in 2020.
"No matter where it's going to be played, the fact the World Cup is getting larger in terms of nations playing the tournament, will involve the fact there will be a need for more stadiums to be played in," said Moggio, who served as the NBA's senior vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.
"There aren't many countries in the world which can say they will have no problems in hosting this kind of competition. This makes co-hosting bids, such as the one in our region and with three countries involved, more feasible."
The region was already favoured to get a first World Cup since the U.S.-hosted 1994 edition, even before Tuesday's expansion decision. The tournament now demands more high-quality training camps, hotels and transport for 48 teams, plus FIFA officials and hundreds of thousands of visiting fans.
"It's still too early to decide on feasibility," said Moggio, a dual citizen of France and Colombia. "However, we have three countries in our region, with Mexico, the United States and Canada, which have a better chance of matching the requirements together, not only when it comes to logistics, but also competitive level."
Moggio said he did not see any further unification with CONMEBOL beyond another Copa America Centenario-type event.
"Cooperation with CONMEBOL is important, all things considered. We saw it with the success of Copa America [Centenario], which was a huge hit for both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL," he said.
"The idea of cooperation in tournament organisation is always there and we are in our best disposition to explore different opportunities. However, when it comes to consider merging our Confederations and look for a joint World Cup qualifying pool, I don't think there's space for changes."
He said he saw no future merging of the two organisations for World Cup qualifying purposes.
"We have not had any talks on that matter, neither between Confederations nor at the FIFA level.
"We all know the World Cup is a great development tool for football. When a country has the chance of playing the tournament, it helps a great deal in the progress and development of football in that nation."
"You will see an important push in those countries which will have the chance of playing the World Cup for the first time. All things considered, this is an interesting development for the football world."
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