CONCACAF pushing ahead with 2026 World Cup bid

Tue May 13, 2014 1:44pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Aggrieved at missing out on the chance to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean is adamant it should be given the 2026 tournament.

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said it was only fair that the region should be awarded the 2026 World Cup after losing its place in the queue when the world's governing body FIFA scrapped its rotational policy after selecting Brazil as the 2014 host.

The subsequent decision by FIFA to award the 2018 tournament to Russia then 2022 to Qatar meant that CONCACAF would have to wait at least 32 years between tournaments after the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup.

"From a CONCACAF perspective, our focus for the World Cup is 2026. We're committed to that," Webb told a select group of journalists at a meeting in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday.

"That's not about the USA hosting the World Cup, for us it's about a confederation standpoint.

"CONCACAF was obviously hard done (by) when (the) rotation stopped, we were the ones who lost out because it should have been our turn after Brazil. When the rotation stopped, obviously it impacted us the most."

Although FIFA scrapped its rotation policy, it did introduce a new rule stipulating that countries could not host the World Cup if another nation from their confederations had staged either of the past two.

This rule means that Europe and Asia are already out of the running for 2026, leaving CONCACAF as the frontrunners to win the vote ahead of any possible bids from Africa, South America or Oceania.   Continued...

FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter (R) gestures next to CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb during a news conference at the CONCACAF congress in Panama City April 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso