Recently the FIFA Council met in Mexico City. One of the topics of discussion was the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup. This will be an important bidding process since it’s the first since the sports major bribery scandal rocked soccer last year.
So how is this one going to work? I’m glad you asked. There will be a new strategy and consultation phase that runs from now until May of 2017. The enhanced phases of bid preparation will run from June 2017 to December 2018. Then bids will be evaluated from January 2019 to February 2020 before a decision is finally made in May of 2020.
What goes into the consultation phase? There are human rights requirements. You have to have sustainable event management. And, the environment has to be protected. This will exclude several bidders who do not meet the technical requirements. The committee will also review the stance on joint bids and consider the number of teams that need to be required.
The number of teams, formats, and eligibility requirements will be determined some time this fall.
Which nations are interested in bidding? So far there has been confirmed interest from several nations.
Canada expressed interest. They have hosted a few 1987 world championship and the Women’s World Cup in 2015.
Mexico has hosted in both 1970 and 1986. They might want to co-host with the United States.
Colombia has hosted the 2011 under 20 World Cup and a World Games in 2013, but so far has been left out of the World Cup. They did get the 1986 bid but due to financial problems Mexico was the final choice.
The United States is considered a favorite, but there are some hurt feelings over the scandal that saw them lose to Qatar in 2022. This is a huge audience and soccer is growing. If they can tap into the television markets and American money FIFA stands to benefit tremendously from growth of the sport in the United States.
Some other news is that both Kosovo and Gibraltar have been admitted as FIFA members. That brings the total up to 211. Both nations should be eligible to compete in the 2018 FIFA World Cup if they are able to qualify.
More good news. The committee donated $500,000 to Ecuador for the severe earthquake they sustained in April. This money will be used to renovate the football stadiums and facilities in the region. A big plus for the moral of the citizens affected.
Uruguay has been given the bid to host the Women’s Under 17 World Cup in 2018.