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FIFA to choose World Cup host in May 2020

By Matthew Campelli    11 May 2016
Gianni Infantino has mooted the expansion of the World Cup from 32 teams to 40

FIFA has revealed that it will choose the host nation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in May 2020.

The decision was made during the governing body’s 66th Congress in Mexico City.

The bidding process will now consist of four phases: a new strategy and consultation phases (May 2016-May 2017); enhanced phases for bid preparation (June 2017-December 2018); bid evaluation (January 2019-February 2020); and a final decision (May 2020).

While bidding for the tournament was postponed in light of corruption allegations levelled at the the selection process for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a number of nations, including England, are thought to be interested in hosting the tournament.

An England bid – backed by Prince William and David Beckham – lost out in the race for the 2018 tournament to Russia, but the Football Association’s (FA) outgoing chair Greg Dyke hinted at a renewed bid for 2026 if Sepp Blatter was removed from his role as FIFA president.

So far Canada, Mexico and Colombia have confirmed their interest in bidding.

The number of teams in the tournament may be one of the key issues up for debate during the consultation phase. The current number of World Cup nations is 32, although new FIFA president Gianni Infantino used his manifesto for election to declare his interest in expanding the number to 40.

Human rights requirements, sustainable event management, environmental protection and the review of joint bids will also be discussed during the consultation phase.

FIFA  football  World Cup  event hosting 
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