U.S., Mexico and Canada to submit World Cup bid, Atlanta could be part of future plans

The United States, Mexico and Canada announced they will submit a bid to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday.

The joint-bid was announced on top of the Freedom Tower in New York City by the heads of the American, Mexican and Canadian federations. If awarded, it would be the first time a World Cup would have three host countries.

The 2026 World Cup would be the first with 48 nations competing, expanded from the traditional 32 nations. As of now, it is the only bid that has been announced for 2026. All bids must be submitted to FIFA by December 2018.

The U.S. would host 60 of the matches, including the knockout rounds from quarterfinals to the final. Mexico and Canada will host 10 games each.

U.S. Soccer Chief Sunil Gulati told the media that the bid has support from U.S. President Donald Trump and was pleased to have Mexico as a part of the bid.

There is no word on a possible host city other than that it will be a U.S. city.

It likely Atlanta will be a part of future plans with the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium which will be fully equipped to host soccer games. It is the future home of Atlanta United FC. The team's owner, Arthur Blank, has said multiple times that he would like to see the new $1.6 billion stadium host a World Cup game.

The soccer federations from the three countries have asked FIFA to expedite a decision on the bid by 2018 instead of 2020, according to the AP. 

North America is a strong favorite because Europe and Asia cannot present a bid since they will host the next World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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