Bitter political rivals gets to host 2026 World Cup
North American bid from the US, Canada and Mexico beats attempt by Morocco
MOSCOW: The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be jointly held by US, Canada and Mexico as the FIFA members associations voted in favour of the ‘United Bid’ compared to the ‘Morocco Bid’ during the 68th FIFA Congress being held at the Expocentre here on Wednesday.
Shortly after the Russian President Vladimir Putin had addressed the Congress, FIFA President Gianni Infantino put forward the all-important item on the agenda and the floor was opened for the voting on bids by two parties.
Out of 211 FIFA members, four bidding parties and the four US territories - American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands did not cast their vote.
The ‘United bid’ won the primary stage by an overwhelming majority as they earned 134 votes, four more than double of the votes ‘Morocco bid’ received (65), while one vote went for ‘None of the bid’
Although the decision on making the 2022 World Cup in Qatar a 48-team event, is yet to be pending, the 2026 edition will be the first FIFA tournament to have 48 teams participating in the global showpiece, a concept backed by the FIFA President Infantino.
MAJORITY OF MATCHES IN THE US
Ahead of the voting on the bids by both parties, they were given 15 minutes each to make a final presentation in front of the FIFA members, in which Morocco bid proposed that they will generate $5 billion profit, while the ‘United Bid’ projected that they will generate $11 billion profit, a bid which was backed by the US President Donald Trump.
The 48-team tournament will mean the number of matches will increase to 80, out of which, 10 each will be hosted in Mexico and Canada, while rest of the games will be hosted by the US. The final of the 2026 World Cup will be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
“Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026. Football today is the only winner,” Carlos Cordiero, president of the US Soccer Federation said.