A joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico to host the enlarged 2026 World Cup is expected to be finalised this year for submission to FIFA, according to Victor Montagliani, the president of the region’s Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Speaking to the Guardian before Saturday’s annual CONCACAF congress on the Caribbean island of Aruba, Montagliani contrasted the prospect of the countries’ cooperating on a World Cup with the division represented by the wall along the border with Mexico planned by Donald Trump. “Canada, the US and Mexico are aiming for a joint bid, the idea has been around for a while, discussions are continuing and it is a very exciting proposition if it comes to fruition,” Montagliani said. “We have had nothing but positive remarks about it and it is a very strong sign of what football can do to bring countries together.”
Asked if he was referring to Trump’s belligerent rhetoric about building a wall, Montagliani, a Canadian insurance executive elected as the Concacaf president last May, said football has to “rise above” all kinds of political regimes which many people dislike. “It behoves football and leaders of football to deal with it and rise above it,” he said. Although each country individually would have the infrastructure to host the World Cup alone, Montagliani said, a joint bid would be “a fit” with the new 48-country, 80-game format of the 2026 tournament. A final decision is likely to be taken “some time this year”.