Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

North America to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup


The leaders of Mexico and Canada gleefully cheered winning the right to host the 2026 World Cup jointly with the United States on Wednesday, emphasizing unity at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has frayed relations with the two neighbors during his 18 months in office.

FIFA member federations voted in favor of the North American bid over Morocco.

Wednesday's vote, conducted during the Fifa Congress at Moscow's expo centre, provided a much-needed victory for American football, which is in the process of rebuilding the men's programme in the wake of last fall's failure to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

In an agreement announced when the bid launched past year, the United States will stage 60 of the 80 matches, including all from the quarterfinals on, while Mexico and Canada will get 10 apiece.

The 2026 cup will be the first of an expanded tournament that will include 48 teams instead of 32, putting considerably more burden on the host country.

It will come 32 years after the US first hosted the 1994 World Cup, an event which kicked off the popularity of the sport in America.

The World Cup final will be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the home of National Football League teams the New York Giants and New York Jets.

The 1994 World Cup in the United States set an attendance record that still stands, with almost 3.6 million spectators for only 52 matches.

Mexico has previously hosted two World Cups, in 1970 and 1986.

"Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2026", said Carlos Cordeiro, president of the US Soccer Federation. Mexico and the United States have each appeared in seven of the past eight World Cups.


The joint North American bid was considered a heavy favorite from the outset and earned high marks from FIFA's bid evaluators because it will, in theory, require less construction and lower costs than the Moroccan bid, which carried an estimated price tag above $15 billion. "If we do that, we have to do a good job of making sure that folks locally can go to those games, the practices, the qualifiers - all of it".

The World Cup is coming back to America.

It's unclear at the moment how travel will shake out and how far teams will have to travel for matches.

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While Morocco, as expected, obtained strong support in Africa, the United bid's power base in Central and South America, plus some welcome backing from parts of Europe and Asia, made the difference.

Even if Trump were to be elected for a second four-year term in 2020 he would not be in office when the World Cup kicks off in 2026.

All of these on their own are excellent reasons why hopefully we can persuade the 24 voters on the Fifa Executive Committee in December to award England this great prize.

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from NY, said: "While the official name of the bid is United 2026, the three potential host nations are right now anything but united".

The Canadian cities are Edmonton, Alberta; Montreal; and Toronto; and Mexico's are Guadalajara; Mexico City; and Monterrey. Matches in Washington that summer were played at RFK Stadium.

But the result was a bitter blow for Morocco after a fifth failed bid.

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