FIFA has suspended the 2026 World Cup bidding process amid a widening corruption scandal implicating previous bid contests. "Due to the situation, I think it's nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being," says FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, per Sky News. "It will be postponed." FIFA planned to write to its 209 member federations this week to explain the bidding timetable and rules. The 2026 host is expected to be chosen by the 209 members at their May 2017 meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Potential bidders include the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Colombia. Valcke spoke at a news conference with Russian organizers of the 2018 World Cup, and defended his role in alleged bribes paid by South Africa during the 2010 bidding contest. "I am in front of you, but I have nothing else to add," he said, per Sky. "What do you want me to add? Do you want me to take things and hit my head and say 'yeah, yeah, yeah, I have been stupid—I should have asked many questions?'"