The Cup that shares
A look at previous World Cups which have been co-hosted.
The host for the 2026 World Cup has been decided, with the joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico proving successful.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at previous major football tournaments that were co-hosted.
Euro 2000 – Belgium and Holland
The first European Championships to be co-hosted saw an even split of games taking place in Belgium and Holland in each group and through the knockout rounds up to the final, which was played in Rotterdam. Won by France as they added to their 1998 World Cup triumph, the tournament is generally well-regarded, although from an England perspective there was trouble involving their fans in Belgium. Holland reached the last four, with Belgium exiting at the group stage.
2002 World Cup – South Korea and Japan
Asia’s maiden World Cup was also the first edition to have joint hosts. South Korea hosted all the games in Groups A, B, C and D, with Japan doing so for E, F, G and H, and the knockout stages were then evenly divided before the final, won by Brazil, took place in Yokohama. According to official FIFA statistics, at 42,268 it has the lowest average attendance of any World Cup since the 1982 tournament in Spain. England supporters who were watching from home will recall matches kicking off early in their day, presenting potential issues with schools and employers. Both host nations won their groups and South Korea particularly impressed with their run to the semi-finals.
Euro 2008 – Austria and Switzerland
All the matches in Groups A and C were played in Switzerland and all those in Groups B and D in Austria, with Basel and Vienna subsequently hosting two quarter-finals and a semi-final each. The final was then held in the latter as Spain saw off Germany. There was embarrassment for organisers during the last four clash between the Germans and Turkey in Basel, with the television feed of the match being sent from Vienna being interrupted on a number of occasions due to a storm. Austria and Switzerland both failed to get out of their groups.
Euro 2012 – Poland and Ukraine
The structure for the carve-up between Poland and Ukraine of hosting matches at Euro 2012 was the same as that for Switzerland and Austria at the 2008 edition, with this final being held in Kiev. Spain again finished as champions, and again both host nations were eliminated in the group stage. The tournament largely succeeded in allaying fears about the fitness of Poland and Ukraine to co-host it – but it was not without its controversies. While there was not the amount of problems many feared, it was marred by several episodes of racism, with Croatia, Spain and Russia fined by UEFA for racist abuse by their supporters. Also, Russia’s match against Poland was scheduled for ‘Russia Day’, and Russia fans who marched through Warsaw to celebrate their country’s national holiday were confronted by Polish hooligans, leading to hundreds of arrests and several injuries. Russia fans unfurled a giant ‘This is Russia’ flag in the stadium.