The U.S., Mexico and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup after beating out a rival bid from Morocco at the 68th FIFA Congress held in Moscow.
It was a closely fought contest for FIFA member votes ahead of the decision but the final result was a resounding victory of 134 to 65. There were impassioned presentations from both camps just before the final vote, while David Beckham and Donald Trump were among those to previously support the North American bid. The U.S. hosted the competition, which has a global audience of billions, in 1994.
World Cup 2026 will be the biggest ever held – with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days. After the controversial award of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively, FIFA promised a “more open and transparent” vote this time.
Officials for the ‘United’ bid have said the tournament will generate $14bn (£10.3bn) in revenue and make an $11bn (£8.1bn) profit for FIFA, double that promised by Morocco. Here are some of the details of the joint bid:
- Of the 16 host cities, 10 will be in the U.S. with the others split evenly between Canada and Mexico. The U.S. will host 60 of the 80 matches while Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each.
- The final is set for the 85,000 seater MetLife Stadium, home to NFL teams the New York Giants and the New York Jets.
- The distance between the most northern venue (Edmonton) and the most southern (Mexico City) is almost 3,000 miles. U.S. host cities are set to include L.A., San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia.
Morocco, bidding for the fifth time, was trying to overcome concerns over stadiums, the availability of accommodation, and the travel network. The Moroccan bid executives had talked up the country’s proximity to Europe and a desire for Africa to host more major global events.
Here were some of the key details from the Moroccan bid:
- Games would be in 14 stadiums – nine of which need to be built – located in 12 cities.
- Every host city is located within a 550km radius of Casablanca.
- The final would be in the 93,000-capacity Grand Stade de Casablanca.
- It would only be the second World Cup on the continent, after South Africa hosted in 2010.
- Morocco hosted 16 teams for the 2018 African Nations Championship in January and February, and also staged the Fifa Club World Cup in 2013 and 2014.
FOX Sports, which has plenty of the World Cup from Russia this year and also has rights to the 2022 edition, showed live coverage of the Congress.
Russia 2018, which gets underway tomorrow, is the first World Cup without the U.S. since 1986 after the Stars and Stripes failed to get through the qualifying rounds. Mexico will be in Russia but Canada has only appeared at one World Cup, the 1986 edition.