KINGSTON – CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has stated that he intends to champion the cause of bringing back the showpiece FIFA World Cup to the confederation with the target set for 2026.
The Caymanian, who has had a hectic one year in office as CONCACAF head, said bidding for the 2026 edition of the World Cup will not only be done from a country perspective, but a collective confederation posture will be employed.
“Definitely (we want it back) and 2026 is the target… so by that time it would be 32 years since it has not come to CONCACAF and that is unacceptable, and so we have to look at bidding for the World Cup from a confederation standpoint and not only from a national association standpoint,” said Webb in an interview with the Jamaica media. He does expect, as always, the bidding process to be intense and competitive but vowed that CONCACAF would put its best foot forward in this exercise.
“We must do everything in CONCACAF to ensure that CONCACAF host 2026. There was a rotation of the World Cup, which was started years ago and CONCACAF became the biggest losers because when the rotation stopped, it meant that it opened the door for others like Russia and Qatar and so forth to host it.
“But I believe we are committed from a regional standpoint and that all the members should do everything in our remit to ensure that CONCACAF host 2026 World Cup,” he added. The last time the World Cup came to CONCACAF was back in 1994 when the USA hosted the greatest football show on earth. Before that, the only other national association to host was powerhouse Mexico who did so in 1970 and 1986. The only other countries to have hosted the tournament twice are Germany, France , Italy and now Brazil who will host 2014.
Up to 2006, the World Cup was awarded on a rotation basis, alternating between the Americas and Europe. The successful bidder was chosen by an exhaustive ballot system by FIFA’s executive committee. But after controversy swirled around the awarding of the World Cup to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022, FIFA has backed a motion that will give that voting power to the 209-member countries. CONCACAF has 41 votes.