Wednesday, 13 June 2018

US, Canada and Mexico win bid to co-host 2026 World Cup, beating out Morocco

The United States, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday secured the right to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, bringing taking the tournament to North America for the first time since the 1994

The North American combined bid beat out Morocco, in its fifth unsuccessful bid in seven tournaments. The decision, by a vote of 134 to 65, was made as delegates from around the world gathered in Moscow ahead of the 2018 World Cup kickoff on Thursday.

The North American countries pledged a record crowds, record revenues and, perhaps crucially, a record $11 billion in profits for FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.

It will be the first time the World Cup is hosted by three countries, but a vast majority of the tournament will be on United States soil. Of the 80 matches, 10 will be held in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the United States — including the final, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The last time the men’s World Cup was in North America was when the United States hosted in 1994. It was held in Mexico in 1970 and 1986, and Canada has never hosted.

Wednesday’s vote was the first in which each FIFA member association was given a say on where the World Cup would be held, and the North Americans rode to victory on a wave of support from the Americas, Europe and Asia, plus a few votes poached from Africa.

FIFA has not yet decided whether members of three-country bids will earn automatic berths, so all three countries may yet have to qualify through the normal route, which can prove tricky. (Of the three, only Mexico is in Russia. The U.S. fell at the last hurdle in October and Canada hasn’t been to a men’s World Cup since 1986.)

In his closing remarks, Gianni Infantino saves the big news for the end: he confirms he will stand for re-election as FIFA president at next year’s congress in Paris. No one expected him to walk away, but now he’s officially running.

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