Sport

U.S., Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup

U.S., Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup

The United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States on Wednesday morning was selected to host the 2026 World Cup by the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.

The soccer showpiece will return to the US for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup in history".

Despite the latest setback, Morocco vowed to continue its bid to host the tournament in future.

The 2026 tournament will be the biggest World Cup ever held - with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days.

In rating the risk assessment of both bidders, with grades of low-, medium- and high-risk, FIFA's own bid evaluation report gave Morocco three high-risk grades (stadiums, accommodation, and accommodation and transport), 10 medium and seven low.

They warned "the amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality can not be overstated".

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"This shouldn't be a geopolitical discussion or decision", U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said this week, according to the Los Angeles Times.

There were some concerns ahead of Wednesday's vote that anti-U.S. sentiment around the world, fuelled by President Donald Trump, would hurt the "United Bid".

Both candidates made their final pitches to European FIFA members today and despite an impassioned plea by France to vote for its historic and cultural ally in Morocco, sources close to UEFA predicted most of their 54 members would go the other way. "The merits of the bid, we feel we have a compelling proposal".

It's massive news for the sport in North America, where it continues to grow, especially in the United States. North America will host the six-team playoff tournament in November 2025 to decide the last two places in the 48-team lineup. "The men's World Cup will take this country to a place it's never been before". "It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the USA bid".

"FIFA was clinically dead as an organization", Infantino said, reflecting on his election in 2016. And perhaps most persuasive, the North American bid promised Federation Internationale de Football Association a record $11 billion in profit, almost double the $6.6 billion that governing body expects to earn in the 2022 event in Qatar and more than double the $5 billion estimated by Morocco.

While Morocco had some key factors in its favour - its much more friendly time-zone for the key TV markets of Europe, its footballing culture and potential tournament legacy - on infrastructural and financial fronts, the United bid blew it out of the water.


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