Canada Will Host Ten Matches If 2026 World Cup Bid Wins

The Canadian Soccer Association has explained why it is okay with hosting ten matches for the 2026 World Cup if the bid ends up being the winner. Peter Montopoli, the General Secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association, says it’s about the eight year runway that they can use to develop the game.

Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup but is now included in a bid that could take World Cup games across the countries. Back in April, the US, Mexico and Canada announced a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup. If successful, the bid would be the first to have three countries as hosts of the tournament. Japan and South Korea were the last countries to host a World Cup together.

Two Bids For 2026 WC

Mexico has hosted the World Cup two times, in 1970 and 1986. The US hosted the tournament back in 1994. Canada has never hosted the men’s tournament but was awarded the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Montopoli believes the eight years will help them develop the game and adds that they know how to do it since they’ve already done it for the women’s game.

The US, Canada and Mexico joint bid is competing against Morocco. Its already been announced that Canada and Mexico will get ten games if the bid wins. The US will host the other 60 games of the tournament. Steve Reed, the president of the Canadian Soccer Association, recently said the joint bid is more compelling than if one country did it on its own. He added that the fact they’re getting ten games out of the 80 is exciting for people across the country.

Evaluation Process, Decision and Expansion

The bids will enter the evaluation process in 2019 and the decision on who will host will be made in 2020. Europe and Asia are excluded from the bidding since they will host the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar. In October, South America launched a three-nation bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The 2026 World Cup bids are competing for a tournament that will be much bigger than previous editions. Back in January, FIFA approved a tournament expansion that will begin in 2026. The tournament will go from 32 teams to 48 teams, making it the largest ever. The 2026 World Cup will have 16 groups of three teams, with the top two from each advancing to the knockout stage. There will be a total of 80 matches for the tournament.