FIFA blocks Europe from hosting 2026 WCup

October 15, 2016
Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari (left) vies with Czech defender Marek Jankulovski during the 2006 World Cup Group E football match Czech Republic vs Ghana in Koln, Germany on June 17 2006. FIFA has blocked Europe from hosting the World Cup in 2026.



North America became a stronger favourite to host an expanded World Cup in 2026 after FIFA essentially barred European countries from bidding yesterday.

The FIFA Council agreed that UEFA and Asian confederation members should not bid again so soon after Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup and Qatar has the 2022 tournament.

"That has changed the landscape (of the 2026 contest) a little bit," said US Federation president Sunil Gulati, a FIFA Council member.

FIFA said Europe would be put on standby only if "none of the received bids fulfil the strict technical and financial requirements".

That's unlikely if the United States bids as expected, either alone or with Canada and Mexico.

FIFA favours co-hosting among regional neighbours, and a three-way bid could be more popular if the tournament grows to 40 or 48 teams.

A decision will be made on whether to expand the tournament on January 9-10 when the FIFA Council next meets in Zurich.

FIFA has targeted 2020 for its member federations to choose the 2026 host.

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