FIFA all-but rules out 2026 World Cup in Europe

FIFA has said that European countries will only be able to bid to host the 2026 World Cup if none of the eligible candidates are good enough.

The announcement makes North America a strong favourite to host the tournament with the United States expected to make a bid, either alone or jointly with Canada and Mexico.

FIFA has also said that co-hosting will be permitted and there will be no restriction on the number of countries in a given bid.

Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 version and, as a result, the FIFA Council has agreed to the "general principle that member associations from confederations of the last two hosts of the FIFA World Cup will be ineligible to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup".

However, FIFA has stated that European, but not Asian, bids could be authorised "in the event that none of the received bids fulfil the strict technical and financial requirements".

Sunil Gulati, president of the United States Football Federation, has, however, revealed that no bid will be formally made until the process has been finalised.

"We won't make a decision until hosting until we know what the rules are," he said.

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"We now know some of those rules, about the eligibility, we don't know the size of the tournament and until we see those and there is a lot of clarity....in the process, then we'll make a decision about it."

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