giovedì 20 aprile 2017



Sunil Gulati, sinistra, presidente della Federazione Calcio USA, Decio de Maria, centro, presidente della Federazione Calcio del Messico e Victor Montogliani, presidente della Federazione Calcio del Canada, ripresi durante la conferenza stampa a New York del 10 aprile 2016 in occasione dell'annuncio della candidatura congiunta per la World Cup 2026. (Photo AP. Mark Lennihan)


E' ufficiale : Canada, Messico, Stati Uniti si sono accordati per presentare alla FIFA la loro candidatura per ospitare le gare della Coppa del Mondo di calcio 2026.

E' interessante notare che la proposta avanzata dalle tre federazioni ha avuto l'appoggio anche da parte del presidente americano Trump, di cui alcuni dubitavano.

Le strutture richieste dalla competizione, che per la prima volta consta di 80 incontri (60 in USA e 10 ciascuno in Canada e Messico) sono già esistenti e il lavoro di organizzazione appare molto semplificato rispetto al passato. 

L'approvazione del progetto segnerebbe quindi la possibilità di un miglioramento delle relazioni tra i tre paesi del continente americano, spesso segnate da controversie.

The documents signed and the hands shaken, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and his counterparts from the Mexican and Canadian soccer federations had every reason to smile broadly on Monday as the photographs were made. Each knew the hard work was behind him.

Their public bid to co-host to 2026 World Cup, less than 20 minutes old in strictly legal terms, was already off to a great start. Their biggest rivals had been sidelined from bidding by FIFA rules. Most of the stadiums, hotels, highways and airports were already built. President Trump, the one wild card none of them could control, had sent word that he, too, was behind the plan.

Even the toughest task of all — negotiating the division of the matches for what will be the first expanded, 48-team version of FIFA’s quadrennial championship — was detailed in the paperwork.

The United States, they had agreed, would be the senior partner in the three-nation bid, and would host 60 of the 80 games and every game of the quarterfinals through the final. Mexico and Canada would each host 10 games. FIFA would manage the rest of the details — “It’s their tournament,” Gulati said — but the broad picture of a plan that most think will come to fruition was already done.

It was not what everyone had wanted, the Mexican federation president, Decio de María, acknowledged, “but it is what we got.”

Gulati acknowledged the difficulty of negotiating the split of the matches. “I think it’s safe to say both countries would have liked more games,” he said, “and they will say it was hard to sell me on 60.”

What they agreed on in the end was this: As soon as this week, the United States, Mexico and Canada will present to FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, a paradigm-shifting plan for the World Cup that will involve more cities, more teams, more players and, perhaps most important, more profits.

The 2026 event will be the first to comprise 48 teams instead of the current 32, an expansion approved recently and one that a newly populist FIFA has billed as an opening to more countries. Critics have derided the change as both a watering down of the event and a brazen money grab.

It is quite possibly all of those things, but the sheer scope of an 80-game event (up from the current 64) played out over more than a month requires a reserve of stadiums, practice sites, hotels and transportation infrastructure that few countries can offer. By bidding as a unit, the three rivals from Concacaf, the regional confederation that encompasses North and Central America and the Caribbean, most likely assured that their bid will be accepted.
Andrew Das, 10 aprile 2017, NYT 
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Lockhart Stadium 2015 : La squadra nazionale canadese in occasione dell'incontro vittorioso contro il Guatemala.

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