Monday, 24 September, 2018

U.S., Canada and Mexico to Host World Cup in 2026

USA-Canada-Mexico to host World Cup 2026 World Cup 2026 USA-Canada-Mexico to host World Cup 2026 SERGEI CHIRIKOV EFE
Kristopher Love | 13 June, 2018, 17:17

The Associated Press reports that FIFA's member associations voted 134 to 65, with one no-vote, Wednesday in favour of the joint North American bid by Canada, the USA and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup men's soccer tournament over that of Morocco.

The North American bid beat competition from Morocco, which was hoping to become just the second African country to host soccer's biggest global tournament. The North American bid won 134 to 65, according to ESPN FC. Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow between hosts Russia and the national team from Saudi Arabia. Whether FIFA also extends this courtesy to Mexico and Canada - the latter a relative nonentity in worldwide soccer that has qualified for just one World Cup in 1986 - remains to be seen.

In a historic vote held in Moscow on Wednesday, the "United Bid" of Canada, Mexico and the United States beat out Morocco to win the right to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, marking the first time that worldwide soccer's marquee event will touch down on Canadian soil. Citing a number of high-profile sponsors dropping FIFA, London newspaper The Independent reported that FIFA's 2018 World Cup sponsorship revenues were down $240 million.

For so long the United bid had looked like it would run unopposed but Morocco, a country that has pitched but failed to secure four previous tournaments, jumped into the fray last August and created a two-horse race that has proved to be unexpectedly competitive.

The 82-year-old's attendance at the World Cup could put him in close proximity to his successor, Gianni Infantino, who has sought to draw a line under past scandals.

"I wanted to underline FIFA's commitment to the principle of sports without politics", Putin said during a FIFA Congress in Moscow while standing next to the World Cup trophy.

Decio de Maria, President of Mexico Football Federation and Co-Chair of the United Bid, said: "We are grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA's new vision for the future of football". Morocco's bid, for example, received vocal support from France and a large contingent of Middle Eastern and North African nations.

Not to mention the 2026 World Cup will coincide with the 250-year anniversary of the U.S.' independence.

2026 ushers in the start of the 48-team World Cup, which gives teams from North America an enhanced opportunity of qualifying for the competition.

Toronto, along with Montreal and Edmonton, could host three or four games in the tournament's knockout round.