Six is enough - Experts sure Boyz will make 2026 if bid succeeds

April 11, 2017
Deon Burton (right) and other members of the Reggae Boyz outfit lift up technical director Rene Simoes as they celebrated qualification for the '98 World Cup Finals.

 

A SUCCESSFUL joint bid by United States, Mexico and Canada could result in as many as six teams from the region playing 'at home' in the 2026 World Cup.

Harbour View's general manager Clyde Jureidini is confident that if the bid is successful Jamaica would have a great chance to make their second appearance in an expanded World Cup, which could feature as many as 48 teams, an additional 16 countries.

Jureidini believes "six teams, at most" could be given the nod from CONCACAF, the three hosts plus two via normal qualification route, and a playoff spot.

 

Better chance

 

In the current 32-team World Cup, CONACAF has three direct spots and one inter-confederation playoff, the last occasion being Mexico beating Oceania's Venezuela to make the 2014 tournament.

"Jamaica, should definitely have a better chance to qualify because you would want to think that the Central Americans, probably Honduras and Costa Rica, would be the next two, in terms of ranking, to get in there, so the next two Caribbean nations would think that they have a big chance to get in there qualify," he said.

Boy's Town's Andrew Price also voiced his support for CONCACAF to host, noting it would not be such a rat race for teams like Jamaica.

"I believe they are more than capable of hosting the tournament. They have proven it over and over again when they have hosted the CONCACAF Gold Cup in both Mexico and the United States, and have done it very successfully," he reasoned.

Price added that Jamaica should, "at-least vision themselves within the top six countries of CONCACAF", noting, "it would give us a better opportunity to participate in the World Cup if the spots are increased."

 

Multiple hosts

 

If CONCACAF's joint bid is given the green light, it would mark the second time that the tournament would have had multiple hosts. The 2002 World Cup was co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.

Mexico would returning a third time as hosts, the USA a second time whereas Canada would be in virgin territory.

FIFA, meanwhile, is expected to confirm its rules for hosting the 2026 World Cup at its Congress on May 11, a month's time, in Bahrain.

CONCACAF's bid appears favourable, considering FIFA's announcement last October that countries in Europe and Asia would be prevented from bidding because Russia is hosting the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 edition.

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