The 2026 World Cup will head to North America for the fourth time and will be the first with 48 teams taking part.
The World Cup is to return to North America for a fourth time after Federation Internationale de Football Association members voted to award the right to host the 2026 tournament to a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The joint North American bid defeated the bid of Morocco 134-65, with one vote for "None of the bids". With a handful of games in Mexico and Canada but the majority in the US, the 2026 bid promises the richest and most lucrative tournament in the history of global soccer.
The USA already possesses the sufficient requirements of world-class stadia and worldwide airports to host the tournament and can boast that when they hosted the World Cup in 1994 they set a record for crowds. Tomorrow the 21st edition of the world's greatest football tournament will kick off at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium with the match between the hosts and Saudi Arabia.
In an agreement announced when the bid launched past year, the United States will stage 60 of the 80 matches, including all from the quarterfinals on, while Mexico and Canada will get 10 apiece.
A US bid at the time failed to win enough votes. President Trump promised athletes would be able to enter the USA "without discrimination" ahead of the decision, per CNN. American soccer officials downplayed the influence of politics on the bid.
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The Moroccans were seeking to bring the World Cup to northern Africa for the first time. Stadiums, accommodation and transport were all deemed "high risk" but Morocco said it had plans to spend up to $16 billion to shore up its deficits ahead of the tournament.
That suggests that North American bid leaders' promises to deliver a record $11 billion profit for the 2026 tournament are feasible.
"I think Seattle has an advantage on some of those other cities that it's vying with, just based on recent soccer history", said Carr, who has covered three World Cups as ESPN's lead soccer researcher. "It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?" he wrote. "But hopefully we can have the most successful World Cup of all time and it needs all people from all three of our countries".
After the summit, Trump attacked Trudeau as "dishonest" and "weak." and accused him of making false statements around the tariffs. Canada, Mexico and the US are home to a combined 491 million people and two of the world's biggest media markets.
The proposal includes a huge spread of venues in the United States, from virtually all the major cities on the East and West Coast, to also Atlanta, Nashville, Tennessee, Orlando, Florida, Miami in the Southeast; and then Cincinnati, Ohio, Kansas City, Missouri, Dallas, Houston and Denver in the Midwest and Mountain West.
A number of the grounds available to the bid would, however, allow for games to be played under cover in a climate-controlled environment.
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