Mexico signals intent to bid for 2026 World Cup

MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexico says it remains interested in hosting the 2026 World Cup, indicating it will make a bid to become the first country to host the event three times.

Mexico Football Federation president Decio De Maria said Friday that he shared the ambition of his predecessor Justino Compean to host the event, saying that ''Mexico will hold the hand high and follow up with the FIFA procedures to hold the tournament.''

''It means a big commitment but most Mexicans will feel very proud to organize a third World Cup,'' De Maria said. ''As soon as the process begins within FIFA, Mexico will be present.''

Canada and Colombia are other nations which have signaled their intent to bid for 2026. Colombia had been due to host the 1986 event but due to instability in the country, it was switched at short notice to Mexico, which had also been host in 1970.

A bid is also expected from the United States, though no formal announcement had been made. The U.S. bid unsuccessfully for the 2022 World Cup which was awarded to Qatar, shortly before FIFA became caught up in a wide-ranging corruption scandal.

Mexico's 2026 bid will be bolstered by recent and upcoming investment in new stadiums.

Santos Laguna opened its Estadio Corona in 2009, Guadalajara constructed the Estadio Omnilfe in 2010 and Monterrey built the Estadio BBVA last year. UANL Tigres, last year's Copa Libertadores runner-up, will build a new one by 2018.

Puebla's Cuauhtemoc stadium was remodeled last year with a $40 million investment. Currently, Mexico City's Azteca stadium is being adapted to celebrate its 60th anniversary and to host NFL games in the next few years.

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