David Beckham has come out in support of the joint North American bid for the 2026 World Cup, saying a tournament in Canada, Mexico and the United States would be “very exciting”.
The former England captain’s comments come in a video released by Major League Soccer eight days before FIFA’s member associations meet in Moscow to decide between the US-led bid and Morocco.
“Football competitions as big as the World Cup deserve to be in great places and if the US, Canada and Mexico get that it will be exciting,” the 43-year-old said.
Beckham, who played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain during an illustrious career, also spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy and now part-owns Inter Miami, who are set to join the MLS in 2020.
Miami is one of the 14 host cities proposed by the United bid for the 48-team World Cup.
The London-born midfielder goes on to discuss America’s growing passion for the game and talks about his experiences of playing in Canada and the US and against Mexico, where he says love for football is ingrained.
Despite scoring better than Morocco’s bid in FIFA’s technical assessments and promising much higher projected revenues, the United bid is far from certain of victory. In fact, the race is too close to call as it enters the final straight.
On the pros of the United bid, Beckham said: “I feel the infrastructure will obviously be there but, more importantly, the excitement and the passion will be, too.
“A joint bid is important because it puts a lot more power and influence behind a decision, especially when it’s three places where the football runs deep.
“I’ve seen how much the game has grown in the last 10 years (in the US). And it’s incredible, it’s happened so fast and changed in so many different ways. People are really getting behind the game now in the US and it’s great to see and great to have been a part of.
“I’m excited about 2026 because, if that does happen, I know for sure as a fan that I will be going to that World Cup. You want to travel to great places and if those places get the World Cup, it’s special.”
The United 2026 bid will be hoping Beckham’s global appeal works in the same way it did when he was used as an ambassador for London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, although his fame did not help England when it tried to win the right to stage the 2018 World Cup.