The tiring campaign ended successfully when FIFA handed over the 2026 FIFA World Cup ™ to the United States, Canada and Mexico on Wednesday. But for the organizers of the tournament work is just beginning.
Potential commercial opportunities, practical legal hurdles associated with throwing a big event in three different, large countries and a litany of other issues, need to be answered in the build-up of the 2026 tournament, which extended the first World Cup with one Field of 48 teams will be.
Two of the more urgent topics on the agenda? Where exactly will the World Cup be played and if all three host countries will automatically qualify for the tournament?
The United Bid is co-chaired by US Football President Carlos Cordeiro, Canadian Football Association Chief Steven Reed and the Mexican Federation Chief Decio de Maria (the trio pictured above) includes 23 cities in the three countries, including 16 World Cup finals align.
Sixty of the tournament's 80 games, including every quarter-final match, will be played in the United States. Canada and Mexico will host 10 games each. The breakdown of potential locations reflects this breakdown. Seventeen American cities remain in the running to host games, while Canada (Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto) and Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey) have just three cities in competition.
Four current MLS stadiums (Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Gillette Stadium outside of Boston, Seattle's CenturyLink Field and BMO Field in Toronto are all mixed for World Cup games.) The Olympiastadion, occasionally used by Montreal Impact for home games, is also a contender for games.Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a proposed semi-final site, such as AT & T Stadium outside of Dallas.The United Bid listed the MetLife Stadium outside New York City as a planned location for the finale.
"We are blessed with 23 truly first-rate facilities, stadiums, some iconic, some brand new, cutting-edge and everything in between," Cordeiro told reporters at a conference call with Reed and de Maria following the vote on Wednesday "I think it will be a very difficult decision that we all have to do together with FIFA when it comes to identifying the last 16 but it is a high class problem. It speaks for the quality of the facilities we have. And that's not a decision that I'm looking forward to because it's going to be very, very difficult. But we are very excited.
Added Reed: "In our country, Canada, we have three wonderful host cities that have had great success in international sporting events in the past, including the  Women's World Cup,  U20 World Women's Championship,  U20 World Championship of men. You have had great success with all these events, and I think all these host cities are really excited to be part of this process. And again Carlos has talked about it, unfortunately there will be some disappointments. But hopefully we can have the most successful World Cup ever and it needs all people from all three countries.
It is not yet clear whether the USA, Canada and Mexico will automatically qualify for the World Cup 2026 or the World Cup if they have to compete for a place with other Concacaf countries. Host nations have always been automatically included in the tournament, Among others, in the only previous World Cup co-hosted by several countries (Japan, Japan and South Korea) in 2002.
There was some confusion on Wednesday when FIFA President Gianni Infantino told reporters that it was up to Concacaf decide whether the US, Canada and Mexico will receive car bids for the World Cup Cordeiro disagreed with Infantino's statement on the teleconference and said the decision was made by FIFA
FIFA determines how many seats in each It is then up to each individual association, its own qualification competition for the award e of world cup seats. These decisions, as well as the issue of automatic qualification for the co-hosts, are expected to be taken at a future FIFA Congress.
The US did not qualify for this year's World Cup and missed the tournament for the first time since 1986. Mexico has missed the tournament for the last time in 1990, while Canada has not qualified for the World Cup since its only appearance in 1986.
"The question of who will automatically get a seat at the FIFA World Cup 26 is the question, this is not the decision made by Concacaf to make FIFA's decision and that will be taken over time," said Cordeiro.