World Cup 2026: United Bid Committee formed

The U.S., Canadian and Mexican federations have formed a united bid committee for handling the bid process for the 2026 World Cup. The launch included the naming of a pair of American bid committee directors and a 10-person board of directors.

John Kristick, who worked on the USA's bid for the 2026 World Cup hosting rights as managing director, was named the executive director for the bid committee while Jim Brown, FIFA's former director of competitions and the managing director of the 2016 Copa Centenario, was appointed the managing director of technical operations. Both Kristick and Brown have had long careers in the international sports consulting business.

In addition, Canada Soccer general secretary Peter Montopoli and Televisa vice president Yon De Luisa were named the bid directors for Canada and Mexico, respectively.

"This is a special opportunity for North America to unite behind our sport of soccer and the quest to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup," said Sunil Gulati, chairman of the United Bid Committee. "The United Bid Committee has the experience and resources to deliver a successful bid, but it will require an enormous team effort over the next eight and half months so we can demonstrate to FIFA the full potential of our three nations and partners in Concacaf to put on the finest World Cup in history."

United Bid Committee board of directors:
Sunil Gulati (USA, chairman)
Guillermo Cantu (Mexico)
Carlos Cordeiro (USA)
Decio De Maria (Mexico)
Dan Flynn (USA)
Don Garber (USA)
Victor Montagliani (Canada)
Peter Montopoli (Canada)
Steven Reed (Canada)
Donna Shalala (USA)

Key dates:
Aug. 11, 2017. Deadline for bidding nations to express their interest about individual or joint bids.
March 16, 2018. Bids must be submitted to meet FIFA's technical specifications (yet to be distributed). If no bid meets FIFA's terms, the 2026 hosting race will be opened up to all members (including Europe and Asia).
June 13, 2018. If the North America bid passes FIFA's technical requirements, it will be presented to the FIFA Congress in Moscow. Unlike other World Cup bid campaigns that went to the FIFA executive committee (since replaced by the FIFA council), the 2026 World Cup hosting rights will be voted upon by full membership of 211 federations.

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