World Cup 2026 bid: Mexico left with 'crumbs'

For the first country to host the World Cup twice -- in 1970 and 1986 -- Mexico reacted poorly to the idea that it could get to host just 10 of the 80 games at the 2026 World Cup, as proposed in the joint bid announced by the presidents of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican federations on Monday.

The Mexican sports daily Record offered the headline: "Mexico could get crumbs." ESPN commentator Leon Lecanda tweeted that Mexico should pull out of the bidding to preserve its dignity and getting just 10 games and none after the round of 16 was "ridiculous." Fox Sports Mexico's Andre Marin termed the 60/10/10 split a "joke."

Mexico is one of the strongest soccer markets in the world. Liga MX averaged 26,600 fans a game for the Torneo Apertura, ranking fourth in the world behind only Germany's Bundesliga, England's Premier League and Spain's La Liga.

Just last year, on the eve of the FIFA Congress in Mexico City, all the talk in the Mexican media was how Mexico alone could host the 2026 World Cup with reports detailing all the stadiums Mexico could use.

TV Azteca's Gerardo Velazquez said getting 10 games was an embarrassment for Mexico. "It is something that only demonstrates the power [U.S. Soccer president] Sunil Gulati has in the region," he added, "and that the real giant in Concacaf is the United States and not Mexico."

That was pretty much the view of Mexican federation president Decio de Maria.

"The United States doesn't need us to host a World Cup," he told Televisa. "That is the message. On Day 1, we didn't have a single game. Today, [we have] 10."

Di Maria tried to put a positive spin on things after Monday's announcement in New York.

“Yes, it’s going to be 10 games in Mexico," he added, "but also games in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Phoenix. For us, it’s home.”

17 comments about "World Cup 2026 bid: Mexico left with 'crumbs'".
  1. Rusty Welch, April 11, 2017 at 11:23 a.m.

    I completely agree that the split is ridiculous - Mexico should have gotten at minimum 20 games. Canada, with it's lack of venues seems about right. But for Decio to say that "For us, it's home" - uhhh, Decio, no it's not. It's the U.S.A., not Mexico. You would do well to remember that.
    I'm not sure what Sunil is going for here, is it 'look at us stick our finger in their eye'? Why even bother claiming that this is a joint bid if you're going to stick your boot on the other countries' neck? It's insulting, and U.S. soccer comes off looking pretty bad by even attempting a bid that's this slanted. It would have been better to do a bid just for the U.S., rather than look like the bully who lets a few crumbs drop for the other countries.

  2. Gary Young replied, April 11, 2017 at 3:25 p.m.

    Behind the scenes, Sunil will share some of the profit with Decio for games played in Usa for helping Usa secure the bid. Decio doesn't care how ot looks in the public eye. That simple.

  3. Goal Goal, April 11, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.

    You have two participants in this proposition that are crooked and unreliable. FIFA is number 1 and Mexico is a very close second.

  4. Gary Young replied, April 11, 2017 at 3:26 p.m.

    Really? Ussf is as clean as a whistle huh? Lol. Where is Chuck Blazer at when you need him?

  5. Nick Daverese, April 11, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.

    Any game in the United States is a home field for Mexico. They know that surprised you don't. If a lot of games were in Mexico or Canada they will be games I will miss.

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now, April 11, 2017 at 1:34 p.m.

    If they don't like it, they can pull out and Canada can host their ten games.

  7. Gary Young, April 11, 2017 at 3:28 p.m.

    Wouldnt lose much, we would think. I am sure Ussf is sharing a piece of Usa game pie with Mexico. If not this makes no sense.

  8. Nick Daverese, April 11, 2017 at 4:28 p.m.

    We are using both Canada and Mexico to insurance we get the WC. That is all we should care about. Of course they are getting a piece of the action probably more like 16 percent each. Still ok to me a good investment with a big return.

  9. Bob Ashpole, April 11, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

    People critical of the decision need to think about the compressed schedules and the effects of jet lag. Being able to focus on hosting matches at 2 stadiums and cities greatly simplifies the infrastructure preparation and event support. It also allows Canada and Mexico to select their best locations. In determining the benefit of the deal to each country, the real issue is how will the three countries split revenues and costs? Making teams travel thousands of extra miles between matches to satisfy host national pride will either unbalance the competition or, if both teams are required to travel thousands of extra miles, result in fatigue-induced poor play and injuries.

  10. Kevin Leahy, April 11, 2017 at 4:43 p.m.

    Wish we had gone alone but, I can live with this set up. Mexico has already hosted 2.

  11. Bob Ashpole, April 11, 2017 at 4:44 p.m.

    A thought. FIFA should consider increasing the squad size (from 23 to 25 for example) to counter the addition of another round of single elimination matches without increasing the recovery time. It would likely improve the level of play in the group of 8 and beyond.

  12. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 11, 2017 at 6 p.m.

    Makes sense. Also, the travel is likely to be more demanding than at some other world cups so the extra bodies will be welcome.

  13. Craig Cummings, April 11, 2017 at 9:48 p.m.

    Will FIFA chaege the same ticket prices in USA and Canada as in mexicos ten games.

  14. Craig Cummings, April 11, 2017 at 9:50 p.m.

    meant charge

  15. frank schoon, April 14, 2017 at 10:21 a.m.

    The way they keep adding more and more teams for the World Cup as participants, they'll probably need a whole a whole continent(s) to host them for otherwise there won't be enough hotel space and fields. Mars is looking good for a future site to hold everybody for a WC site

  16. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 10:54 a.m.

    Dont give them any ideas. If Mls decides to give Mars a franchise you will have Don and Fire cheerleading for it. Im sure.

  17. frank schoon replied, April 14, 2017 at 1:57 p.m.

    Gary, you said it,LOL

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