KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The United bid to host the 2026 World Cup has unveiled a proposal to stage three Opening Matches to “open a new era in football.”
The idea of a three-way opener in the United States and junior partners Canada and Mexico has been distributed to the presidents and general secretaries of the 207 federations involving in the host award vote.
World federation FIFA stages its annual congress on June 13 in Moscow on the eve of the – single – Opening Match there of this year’s Russian-hosted World Cup.
Top of the agenda is the decision on whether to award the expanded 48-team finals in 2026 to United or Morocco. This is assuming that both safely surmount the inspection checks of a controversial evaluation taskforce which will visit both bidders later next month.
United 2026’s letter was published on Twitter by Decio DeMaria, the head of the Mexican federation and who is one of the three co-chairs of United 2026 along with fellow domestic presidents Carlos Cordeiro (United States) and Steve Reed (Canada).
The letter invited the world game’s senior officials to “visualise the opening day of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
It added: “Three games in three countries – Canada, the United States and Mexico – thousands of people congregating in the FIFA Fan Fests organised in the host cities and throughout all of north America.
“That would be an unprecedented opening day and is precisely what our historic cohosting bid is proposing.
“Our proposal reflects the fact that this candidature is preparing all the infrastructure and facilities necessary to guarantee the very best experience to celebrate the greatest FIFA World Cup in history.
“An opening day with three games played in three different countries . . . would provide a spectacular launch. The referees’ first whistles will open a new era in football.”
The letter is not clear but, presumably, the matches would be staged consecutively rather than simultaneously.