Cantu welcomes news of positive FIFA World Cup 2026 bid evaluation

The General Secretary of the FMF said there's still work to do but an announcement by FIFA's task force had reinforced the United bid's talking points

The Mexico soccer federation's secretary general welcomed the news that FIFA's task force has named the North American bid between the United States, Mexico and Canada a lower-risk than that of Morocco.

Guillermo Cantu said Friday that the announcement that the United bid had received a 4.0 out of 5.0 from FIFA after doing risk assessments.

The North African nation's bid earned just a 2.7.

"It confirms what we knew that having a responsible candidacy with all the stadiums already constructed, all the training bases practically constructed and operating, all the communication centers mostly ready now and definitely ready within eight years" Cantu said at a news conference.

"For us, being part of CONCACAF, we’re very proud, calm in the sense of confirming what we’ve said from the start of a responsible candidacy was that was part of what we wanted from the start. When we talk about unity, about responsibility, of everything organizing a World Cup would imply, I think we’re on the right path."

Despite the favorable evaluation, though, Cantu said he and others involved in the bid are well aware that two weeks still remain before anything is decided with FIFA's member associations set to vote on June 13.

"We can’t say anything because the vote is June 13," he said. "For us, it’s very important to continue to finish visiting the majority or all FIFA’s Member Associations because they’re the ones who are going to vote and they’re the ones who need to hear our voices that we’ve run a responsible bid."

With the World Cup set to expand to 48 teams, Cantu said the joint bid between the three nations could provide a blueprint for future tournaments with the burden of hosting a World Cup with so many teams perhaps too heavy a burden for one country to bear.

"With a format like is going to happen from 2026 with 48 national teams I think there are very few countries, maybe none, that could organize a World Cup alone," he said. "What we’re saying is the cooperation between countries, and this opens the door to a lot of other countries that couldn’t host a World Cup by themselves but collaborating with neighbors they could after 2026."

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In its report, FIFA made it clear that Morocco would have to spend billions to improve stadiums and infrastructure before the country would be able to actually host a World Cup. 

“The amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated,” FIFA said in the report.

In total, three areas were rated as high risk for Morocco, 10 a medium risk, and just seven low risk. The United bid had a total of three areas of medium risk, with 17 areas of low risk.