Insider: FIFA rejects exclusive path for USA's joint 2026 World Cup bid

The latest on the FIFA 2026 World Cup hosting decision, Moya Dodd's surprising loss in the FIFA Council vote and Brad Guzan's move to Atlanta from Middlesbrough.
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The annual FIFA Congress is in Bahrain this week, and the biggest story for Americans is the U.S.-led joint bid to host the World Cup 2026.

The North American bid was hoping the Congress would approve a fast-tracking process that would give it a year to get technical approval without having to compete against any other bids. But at the FIFA Council meeting on Tuesday, it was decided that other countries would be given three months to come up with their own formal bids.

That’s a short-term blow to the fast pace desired by U.S.-Mexico-Canada bid, but it remains to be seen whether any other countries will bid for ’26 or have the clout to compete with the bid already on the table.

Why a USA, Mexico, Canada World Cup looks like a safe bet, more bid questions answered

FIFA announced last October that countries from the European and Asian confederations could not bid for 2026 after hosting in 2018 and 2022, respectively. That means a bid from South America, Africa or Oceania would have to come forward in the next three months and meet the technical specifications set out by FIFA for the expanded 48-team format.

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