FIFA president Gianni Infantino is open to the idea of having a 40-team World Cup come 2026, and the United States may be one of the host nations.
Per the Associated Press, Infantino said on Tuesday that FIFA will consider a co-hosted World Cup by the U.S., Mexico and Canada in what would be the first time three nations shared hosting duties. South Korea and Japan co-hosted the cup in 2002 — the only time we’ve seen multiple hosts in one tourney.
“These two topics (team expansion and host nations) will certainly be on the table for discussion,” Infantino said.
The United States hosted the World Cup back in 1994 with 24 teams. The next edition of the World Cup (France 1998) saw the tournament format expand to 32 teams, which is the current format as we speak. Obviously getting to host another World Cup would do wonders for the game’s exposure in the U.S. This past summer, the U.S. hosted the Copa America for the first time.
Canada hosted the Women’s World Cup in 2015, but received heavy criticism from the players due to its artificial turf. Mexico hasn’t hosted a World Cup since 1986.
As for the idea of multiple host nations, we will see if it works well in the coming years. Euro 2020 will see matches played in 13 countries.
“So there is, I would say, no limit to whatever is good for football,” Infatino said.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / FIFA president says we could see a 40-team World Cup co-hosted in North America