The burning issue of where future World Cup tournaments will be hosted is being widely debated this week as international matches are played worldwide.
Jeffrey Webb, president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, has again urged FIFA to reintroduce a rotation system for hosting the World Cup around the confederations.
The Caymanian businessman is campaigning to have the United States host it in 2026, or possibly Mexico, which would be the region’s fourth staging of it. The last time was in the U.S. in 1994.
Webb, who is also a FIFA vice-president, responded to FIFA’s announcement Friday that the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup will begin this year, with the final vote in 2017.
The U.S. just missed out on hosting the 2022 tournament to Qatar, with widespread allegations of corruption related to the vote.
Since then, the date of the tournament has been changed from its traditional June-July time to November-December because a summer staging in Qatar would have been dangerous in the extreme heat, not just for the players but also for spectators and officials.
With FIFA pledging a clean process “from the first minute” to decide the 2026 hosts, Webb immediately put the U.S. forward as a candidate.
“Football is booming in North America,” Webb said. “When you look at the infrastructure that’s in the USA, in North America, I believe there’s no infrastructure like this in the world. I believe the USA could host the World Cup next year.”
After Brazil hosted the tournament last year, and with the next two to be held in Russia and Qatar, Webb is convinced it should be held in North or Central America or Africa in 2026.
FIFA awarded World Cup hosting rights for South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, but controversially scrapped the rotation policy in the lead-up to the votes for 2018 and 2022.
“I think when you look at it, the rotation policy is the best and most fair and equitable for the 209 member associations of FIFA. It’s unfortunate that rotation was stopped,” Webb said.
“I believe rotation is in the best interests of the game, and I believe it should be returned. And obviously when you look at the stoppage of that rotation, the confederation most affected by that was CONCACAF.”
Renard Moxam, Cayman’s director of national teams, backs Webb’s call for a return to hosting the World Cup on a confederation rotation basis.
“I agree with Jeff,” Moxam said. “We have two countries who can host the World Cup that have first-class facilities, the U.S. and Mexico. Also, you can put into that mix Canada.”
Moxam advocates a joint bid between those countries, if necessary. “I think we stand a really good chance of getting the World Cup.”
He said that because of the huge populations of Mexico and North America, and the fact that Europe and South America have hosted the tournament many times, the CONCACAF region is now the most deserving.
“I think with Jeff being a potential future leader of FIFA, I really believe we stand a fantastic chance of hosting it in 2026.”
Moxam also said that as opportunities for young people diminish due to the downturn in the world economy, football provides more hope, and Webb has already demonstrated through his many football youth development policies that he is creating more opportunities for youngsters.