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MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) – North America’s request for a fast-track award of the 2026 World Cup hosting rights is on hold, for a few months at least.

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People with knowledge of the situation say FIFA’s ruling council has allowed three more months for rival proposals to be presented. The people spoke on condition of anonymity as the decision had not yet been announced by FIFA.

United States, Canada and Mexico had wanted FIFA to confirm they would have a clear run to the hosting rights during meetings of world soccer’s ruling body in Bahrain.

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But now bidders from Africa or South America can come forward before August, the people said. Europe and Asia are not eligible because they are hosting the next World Cups — Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

A decision on the hosts for the first 48-team World Cup could still come in 2018.

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