With the United States, Mexico and Canada set to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup together, the world’s most popular sporting event is entering a new era. Never before have hosting duties for the tournament been spread among three nations. It is unlikely to be the last time.
In fact, the successful North American joint bid could set a new template for nations that want to get a piece of the World Cup pie without going at it alone in turns of bearing the ever-growing costs and infrastructure demands. As bidding begins to ramp up for tournaments in 2030 and beyond, two-, three- or even four-nation bids could become the rule rather than the exception, especially with FIFA planning to expand the tournament from 32 to 48 teams. There’s already speculation that Qatar, the 2022 host, may need to look outside its borders to find additional venues.
That means more countries than ever are positioning themselves to host all or parts of future Cups. Many of these nations have struck out in the past or haven't the wherewithal to muster a solo bid.
Here’s a look at 12 countries or regions that have never before hosted a World Cup but should be in the running starting in 2030.