With the 2018 and 2022 World Cup shroud finally lifted, and the decisions on dates and location finally wrapped in a neat little bow, FIFA has begun to move on. Specifically, four more years.
FIFA announced today that they will open the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup as soon as this year, with a decision to be made by May of 2017. The timeframe is consistent with recent processes, as the 2022 World Cup location was chosen in December of 2010. The vote will take place at the FIFA annual congress in 2017, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, said the process would start around early June and would be “transparent from the first minute.”
The United States is widely considered the favorite to host the 2026 World Cup, with North America going on 32 years without a World Cup by the time 2026 rolls around, and seeing as how the US federation felt severely slighted during the 2022 voting process in the eventual loss to Qatar.
Since the last time North America hosted a World Cup (1994 in the US), it has been brought to Europe three times, South America once, Africa once, and Asia twice. The attendance records that were set during that tournament still stand today.
With Europe and Asia hosting in 2018 and 2022, it’s likely that FIFA will rule those continents out for the 2026 bid, according to the Associated Press. Their report also states that Canada and Mexico could bid for the event along with the United States.