MIAMI: CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has added an intriguing political twist to his region’s pursuit of World Cup hosting in 2026 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The North, Central American and Caribbean confederation had already heard one member, Mexico, express an interest in 2026 after the United States failed in a bid to win 2022.
Now Webb has repeated the confederation’s interest and said support would be a necessary pre-requisite for it to back any FIFA presidential candidate in 2015.
CONCACAF last hosted the World Cup in 1994, when the United States staged the tournament.
Webb said he has held meetings with US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, along with Canadian and Mexican counterparts Victor Montagliani and Justino Compeán to discuss bringing the World Cup back to the region.
He thought CONCACAF should have been due the finals in 2022 and was unaware that the short-lived rotation system had been curtailed with the awards of 2010 to South Africa and 2014 to Brazil.
He said: “For us I think it was unfair for our confederation to miss 2022. It doesn’t matter for me – it’s 41 members – whether it’s the United States, Mexico or Canada. I believe it’s so important for us as a confederation to host the World Cup in 2026. That will have been 32 years, which would have been the longest span since World War II that we have not hosted a World Cup as a confederation.”
As for the FIFA presidency lever, Webb added: “It comes down to sports politics. I’ll be very frank and very open with you that whoever the next president of FIFA becomes, for any support to come from CONCACAF, that must be one of the overarching objectives and commitments to this confederation – that 2026 will come to CONCACAF.”
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