CONCACAF is going all-in on trying to host the 2026 World Cup. Confederation president Jeffrey Webb told reporters on Tuesday that it is time the tournament return to North America, Central America or the Caribbean (really, North America).
"From a CONCACAF perspective, our focus for the World Cup is 2026. We're committed to that," Webb said.
But Webb was clear that this isn't just about the United States hosting the World Cup. The confederation needs to host, in his opinion, and they're going to throw their weight behind whichever country in the region offers them the best chance to win the right to host.
"That's not about the USA hosting the World Cup, for us it's about a confederation standpoint.
"CONCACAF was obviously hard done (by) when (the) rotation stopped, we were the ones who lost out because it should have been our turn after Brazil. When the rotation stopped, obviously it impacted us the most."
Obviously, the U.S. is the most ready to host the World Cup now, but Canada and Mexico are also capable of hosting. Both would require work -- Canada with stadiums and Mexico with stadiums and infrastructure -- but it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for them to bypass the U.S. for a CONCACAF bid because of the politics involved.
Still, the U.S. will be the favorite. The money involved, as well as the readiness of the country, makes it appealing, but this is still a long way off. Normally, World Cups are awarded seven or eight years beforehand, making it at least four more years before FIFA names a host for 2026. FIFA's decision to award 2018 and 2022 together just threw things for a loop.
The question will be whether there is really even a bidding war. Right now, China looks like the heavy favorite to host the 2026 World Cup, offering a chance to take the world's biggest sporting event to the world's biggest country and one of the fastest growing economies. The U.S. offers a lot, but it will be tough to match that.
And then there is the FIFA corruption issues. The U.S. wasn't willing to play FIFA's games last time around and lost. Will they play this time around, or will FIFA have been overhauled by then?
With years to go before the 2026 World Cup bid, there is a lot to be determined, but it is clear that CONCACAF is ready to make a move.