FIFA To Give U.S. World Cup Hosting Rivals Three Month Time-Line To Make Bid

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FIFA has turned down a proposal that would have given the U.S.-led bid an exclusive path to winning hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup, with other candidates now given three months to present rival bids.

Some members of the council, according to sources, expressed concern that the exclusivity element of the proposal was unreasonable, particularly given the corruption scandals surrounding bids in the past.

But the council did agree to the condensed timeline that would award the 2026 World Cup in June 2018, instead of the original plan to confirm the host in 2020.

“This is a victory for us,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said, according to ESPN. “We got what we wanted most. An open process is a good thing and we’re very confident that our bid will be a high quality one.”

With the 2018 tournament in Russia and the 2022 event in Qatar, FIFA’s rules prohibit those confederations — Europe and Asia — from bidding for the 2026 event. That means only countries from Oceania, Africa and South America could be possible competitors for the North American bid — and Oceania and South America have already endorsed the North American bid.


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