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Rummenigge backs United States' World Cup 2026 bid

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of Bayern Munich and chairman of the European Club Association, believes the United States would be a good host for the 2026 World Cup.

The U.S. staged the international showpiece fairly recently in 1994, but the increase of teams from 32 to 48 for the 2026 installment will likely require one large country or several countries to stage. That infrastructure has made the U.S. an early favourite, despite CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio favouring a World Cup held across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.

Related: North America on alert as Europe, Asia urged not to bid for 2026 World Cup

"In my network, the United States are mentioned suspiciously often," Rummenigge told Sport Bild, as reported by ESPN FC's Stephan Uersfeld. "It wouldn't be bad at all. The interest in football and the enthusiasm for it are in place in the U.S."

A competition stateside may be gladly received after the controversial upcoming World Cups in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022), and Rummenigge was impressed by the facilities already in place when he toured the U.S. with Bayern in 2016.

"We had 42,000, 54,000, and more than 80,000 spectators in our third match," he noted.

Although he's welcoming of a World Cup in the States, Rummenigge is otherwise unimpressed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino's initiatives so far - and that includes the 48-team World Cup.

He also wants to bunch the international breaks together together - dropping them from four to two - so they encroach less on the club season and have more benefit to international managers, who would get longer spells with their players.

"In October and March: We could play four instead of two games during those international breaks," Rummenigge explained. "This would also have the advantage for the national team coaches that the teams could be together for a longer spell and for instance work on tactical things."

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