Integration and reinvestment – Reaping the fruits of North America 2026

Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde travelled to Russia to participate in a FIFA congress and the voting process for the 2026 World Cup venue, as North America – inclusive of the USA, Canada and Mexico – found itself bidding against Morocco to host one of the highest-grossing sporting events in the world.
Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced that North America had unanimously won the bid, a revelation that would please the GFF President.
“If we’re successful in bringing it into our confederation, it’s going to be the most profitable World Cup in the history of FIFA World Cups. It projected that it’s easily somewhere around 11 and a half to 12 billion [USD] in profit, so why would we not want to do that; of course, we would like to see some of that good revenue being reinvested in infrastructure in Guyana,” Forde had said when questioned about Guyana’s vote.
However, despite the President’s elation at being able to have the World Cup hosted within the CONCACAF region, questions were raised about the benefits that Guyana and the wider Caribbean would get from the event. Those queries were based on the fact that the North American countries, especially the USA and Canada, seldom engage with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) teams.
In reply to those questions, Forde said, “For you to somehow compare the fact that Guyana over the past two decades hasn’t had an opportunity to play the USA, we have played Canada; of course, we played Mexico a couple of times. So when you look at the stronger nations, we would have come up against two of them.”
Forde then stated: “What I can speak to is that the President’s vision is to do everything within his power to not only integrate the confederation but to impact the quality of the game within the CFU region.”
This statement brought the conversation to how the Caribbean and Guyana could benefit from the spoils of the 2026 World Cup. To which Forde confirmed that he has been in talks with CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani, who is “pursuing an agenda that will see a lot of reinvestment in the Caribbean”.
“President Montagliani has been at the helm of CONCACAF for just over two years and he has brought in a new culture of inclusiveness in the operation of football within the confederation,” he stated, citing the Nations League as one of the initiatives that have been bridging the divide.
“And there’re other ideas that will see further integration of the family, ‘cause he understands how important it is for you not to have a handful of countries that are doing exceptionally well and the bulk of the family is below,” Forde concluded.
The wait is now on to see how the 2026 World Cup will play out; will the North American and Caribbean nations engage in more friendlies? Will revenue trickle down to the CFU for infrastructural development? In eight years, time will tell. In the meantime the GFF is focused on seeing the men’s national team (the Golden Jaguars) qualify for the 2026 World Cup under the stewardship of new Head Coach Michael Johnson.