North American trio of USA, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 World Cup
MOSCOW — North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.
The soccer showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow. Canada will host men’s World Cup matches for the first time, while Mexico gets its first taste of the event since 1986.
“Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro told the congress.
“The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures.”
The vote by national football federations was public, in contrast to secrecy surrounding the 2010 vote when FIFA’s elected board members picked Russia to host in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, defeating the U.S.
The regional bid proved more appealing this time and the North Americans even collected 11 votes from Africa.
“The United bid was strong and if it was just the United States, I think Morocco would have beaten them,” said Cameroon federation official Kevin Njomo, whose country voted for Morocco.
“People have a soft spot for Mexico, especially looking at Mexico as a little bit under-developed and giving them a chance.
Canada is a good tourist destination.
“But I think where it had the advantage was the World Cup would be more profitable in America and it is a capitalist world.”
North America is optimistically promising to deliver $14 billion in revenue helped, while the tournament won’t require major construction work required on the 16 planned stadiums, all of which already exist.
The U.S. proposed staging 60 out of the 80 games in 2026, when 16 teams will be added to the tournament, leaving Canada and Mexico with ten fixtures each.
But FIFA President Gianni Infantino suggested the split of games could change.
“They have made a decision among themselves but ultimately it will be up to FIFA to decide,” Infantino said.
Morocco appeared too hazardous as a potential host when all 14 venues had to be built or renovated as part of a $16 billion investment in new infrastructure.
The vote leaves Morocco reeling from a fifth failure in a World Cup hosting vote, with the continent’s sole tournament coming in 2010 in South Africa. .
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