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Soccer can bring USA, Canada and Mexico together

Friday, April 28, 2017

Relations may be cool between the United States on one side, and Canada and Mexico on the other, as Donald Trump threatens a North American trade war.

But things should improve, at least by 2026, assuming the three countries co host that year’s World Soccer Cup, and that the event is as lucrative as it often is.

As far as hosting is concerned, the joint application has a good chance of succeeding, as both Asia and Europe are out of the bidding process, which seeks to rotate tournaments among the world’s continents.

In terms of earnings, soccer is the world’s most valuable sport, with annual revenue from all sources of more than $300 billion, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

The 2026 World Cup for its part will be both the biggest ever, with 48 nations taking part in 80 matches, up from 32 nations and 64 matches at present.

In formal terms, the 2026 Cup will be held by Concacaf, the regional federation of FIFA that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The US and Mexico have in recent years dominated Concacaf, but Canada has all the infrastructure required for such an event.

If the three countries win the 2026 bid, the United States would be the main host, with Canada and Mexico playing a subsidiary role.