Cities across Canada, United States and Mexico will play host to the the FIFA World Cup in 2026, the organization’s member nations voted Wednesday at their Congress in Moscow on the eve the 2018 edition is set to kick off across Russia.
A “United 2026″ bid representing the three North American nations defeated a bid from Morocco by a vote of 134 to 65, with one further vote against both projects.
The North American bid had received a better technical score in earlier evaluation reports, with United 2026 earning an average rating of 4 against Morocco’s average of 2.7, but those scores do not factor into the final vote that for the first time was held among all of the over 200 member nations with a 1-vote, 1-nation formula.
United 2026 boasts a concept that includes all existing stadiums, with no additional facilities to build. Morocco has one existing Stadium and would need to build several more stadiums.
For the first time the tournament will host 48 teams, up from 32. Initial plans are for the United States to host 60 matches while Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each, but those numbers can change when FIFA joins in the organisation.
Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup Match. The Unites States hosted in 1994 and Mexico in 1986.
A statement by Major League Soccer in North America said “The decision to host World Cup 2026 in Canada, Mexico and the United States is a testament to our three nations coming together for the United Bid, and a monumental step in our collective mission to further advance the game of soccer in North America.”
“We congratulate all of those who worked tirelessly to bring the World Cup back to North America and thank the countries that voted for the United Bid, and for their belief in our vision for the future of the sport in our region.
“There is no doubt that World Cup 2026 will elevate the sport of soccer to entirely new levels and Major League Soccer is honored to be a part of this joyous day.”
More to come…