FIFA set to fast-track North American bid for 2026 World Cup

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The U.S., Canada and Mexico's proposed three-country tournament appears to be on an accelerated path for approval

A fast-tracked proccess to grant North America the right to host the 2026 World Cup is set to be approved by FIFA this week.

The three-country bid, led by the United States and supported by Canada and Mexico, could see an accelerated pathway to winning the event, with FIFA hoping to avoid voting scandals that have marred previous World Cups. 

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''It's an interesting, original proposal and we will discuss it tomorrow at the council and present the recommendation to the congress,'' FIFA president Gianni Infantino told The Associated Press on Monday.

No opposition to fast-tracking the North American proposal is expected at either Tuesday's council in Bahrain or at the FIFA congress — where all 211 member nations will vote — next year.

It is hoped that avoiding any opposition to the bid will result in a process free of any potential wrongdoing. FIFA has been accused of bribery and corruption in relation to recent World Cup bids.

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"We have seen in the past many questions marks around bidding processes,'' Infantino said. ''So we have to make sure this process is absolutely bulletproof.''

While the bid has been launched as a three-nation co-hosted event, the U.S. is the lead country and could end as the solo host if FIFA deems the Canadian and Mexican portions — with those two countries looking to each host 10 of the 80 games — unsuitable. 

But all three North American countries are anticipating approval from the FIFA Congress, with the presidents of the three national associations having scheduled a joint news conference in Bahrain on Wednesday.

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