US, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 World Cup

President of the United States Football Association Carlos Cordeiro, Mexican Football Federation President Decio De Maria and President of the Canadian Soccer Association Steven Reed celebrate after the announcement. (Reuters)

President of the United States Football Association Carlos Cordeiro, Mexican Football Federation President Decio De Maria and President of the Canadian Soccer Association Steven Reed celebrate after the announcement. (Reuters)

The US, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup. North America’s combined bid secured 67% of the vote, beating out Morocco who only managed 65 votes.

A total of 211 Fifa nations attended the congress in Moscow on Wednesday afternoon, 200 of which were eligible to vote. Of those 134 went to the united team.
Morocco, meanwhile, are forced to taste defeat once again, having lost out on four previous occasions.

“Thank you so, so much for this incredible honour. Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege, said US football president Carlos Cordeiro after the announcement. “We are all united in football, the beautiful game transcends borders and cultures. Football today is the only victor.”

The result comes as little surprise. The united bid promised Fifa double the profit that Morocco could ensure and have stadiums and infrastructure at a far more developed level. Given the new 48-team, 80-match structure of the World Cup, the body was always expected to select the proposal that could better handle the additional pressure.

The South African delegation, headed by Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza, had promised beforehand to vote against Morocco. A month ago, Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa had also said there was no way the nation could be supported.

“We are very clear that we can’t support Morocco‚” she said. “Our Parliament was very straightforward in this regard‚ it is the mandate of the country and it is an obligation for sporting bodies to understand what the country’s agenda is.”

South Africa recognises the Polisario Front government as the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people in the Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the area after the Spanish left in the 1970s.

It’s not the first time the US or Mexico have hosted the World Cup. The latter did so in 1986 while its northern neighbour held it eight years later. The 1994 event still holds the record for attendance, with 3.6-million spectators attending the year Roberto Baggio was immortalised for skying a penalty in the World Cup final.

Luke Feltham

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