The 2026 World Cup will look a whole lot different that previous iterations of the tournament, thanks to the fact that it will be hosted by three countries - the United States, Mexico and Canada - and expanded to 48 teams for the first time.
Mexico will once again enjoy itself this summer, as the 2018 tournament prepares to kick off on Thursday, but there has been a bitter taste in many Americans' mouths since the U.S. Men's National Team's failure in the build up to Russian Federation.
The United States, which hosted the 1994 World Cup, is to host 60 of the 80 matches, including those in the knockout phase, while Canada and Mexico will get just 10 group-stage matches each.
US Soccer: "Hosting the 2026 Fifa World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport".
Moroccan officials, who have stressed throughout their campaign how snatching the tournament from under the noses of the North American favourites will transform the landscape of their country, remain quietly confident they can upset the odds.
The soccer showpiece will return to the US for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
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Since the US first hosted the World Cup in 1994, it has been in France, South Korea and Japan (joint-bid), Germany, South Africa and Brazil, with the Russia World Cup beginning on Thursday.
Morocco Federation: "I wish to congratulate Fifa for the conduct of this process and congratulate the president for what he has done in order to move things towards more transparency and more inclusion".
Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal are in the running to be among the 16 host cities.
"If we get to host in 2026, that's the realization of a lifelong dream, to get back to the World Cup, and to give kids that opportunity to be inspired like I was in 1986". It was a veiled threat to withhold USA support from countries opposing the bid. "Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?" he wrote.
Victor Montagliani, the Canadian who leads CONCACAF, wants the host nations to take three of the qualification slots reserved for the region.
Vancouver will watch from the sidelines after the B.C. government, citing concerns over the possible costs of being a host city, was unable to come to terms with the bid committee. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar. All of the proposed stadiums exist already. The U.S. team failed to qualify this year.
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