North America will host 2026 Cup
MOSCOW – North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted Wednesday for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.
The soccer showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow, where the 2018 Cup starts on Thursday.
“Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro told the congress. “The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures.”
The vote by national football federations was public, in contrast to secrecy surrounding the 2010 vote when FIFA’s elected board members picked Russia to host in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, defeating the U.S.
The regional bid proved more appealing this time and the North Americans even collected 11 votes from Africa.
“The United bid was strong and if it was just the United States, I think Morocco would have beaten them,” said Cameroon federation official Kevin Njomo, whose country voted for Morocco. “People have a soft spot for Mexico, especially looking at Mexico as a little bit under-developed and giving them a chance. Canada is a good tourist destination.”
North America optimistically promising to deliver $14 billion in revenue helped, and the tournament won’t require major construction work required on the 16 planned stadiums, all of which already exist.
The U.S. proposed staging 60 out of the 80 games in 2026, when 16 teams will be added to the tournament, leaving Canada and Mexico with 10 fixtures each.