By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI (Reuters) - Football officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico are likely to meet next year to discuss a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup, CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani said on Wednesday.
FIFA confirmed on Oct. 14 that co-hosting would be allowed at the 2026 tournament and that there would be no restrictions on the number of countries in a given bid.
"It’s obviously a possibility," Montagliani told Reuters on the sidelines of a sports conference in Dubai. "We are fully aware that each country could probably host it on its own.
CONCACAF governs football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
A successful joint bid would be the first World Cup in CONCACAF since the tournament was held in the United States in 1994 and the first co-hosted World Cup since 2002 in South Korea and Japan.
"It's time for it to come back," Montagliani said, adding that CONCACAF "absolutely" expects the 2026 tournament would be held by one of its 41 members.
Formal discussions over a possible joint US-Canada-Mexico bid are likely to start in 2017 once "all the rules and regulations" related to the bid are announced, he added.
FIFA is proposing to expand the 32-team World Cup to up to 48 teams, potentially starting with the 2026 tournament.
(Editing by Clare Lovell)