North Amer­ica to host 2026 World Cup

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By RobHar­ris and Gra­ham Dun­bar

MOSCOW » North Amer­ica will host the 2026 World Cup af­ter FIFA vot­ers over­whelm­ingly opted for the fi­nan­cial and lo­gis­ti­cal cer­tainty of a United Statesled 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 on Wed­nes­day.

The vote by foot­ball fed­er­a­tions was pub­lic, in con­trast to se­crecy sur­round­ing the bal­lot by FIFA’s elected board mem­bers for the 2018 and 2022 hosts, Rus­sia and Qatar, in 2010.

The U. S. pro­posed stag­ing 60 out of the 80 games in 2026, when 16 teams will be added to the fi­nals, leav­ing Canada and Mex­ico with ten fix­tures each. North Amer­ica will host the 2026 World Cup af­ter FIFA vot­ers over­whelm­ingly opted for the fi­nan­cial and lo­gis­ti­cal cer­tainty of a United States-led bid over risky Moroc­can pro­pos­als for the first 48team 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 on Wed­nes­day.

The vote by foot­ball fed­er­a­tions was pub­lic, in con­trast to se­crecy sur­round­ing the bal­lot by FIFA’s elected board mem­bers for the 2018 and 2022 hosts, Rus­sia and Qatar, in 2010.

The U. S. pro­posed stag­ing 60 out of the 80 games in 2026, when 16 teams will be added to the fi­nals, leav­ing Canada and Mex­ico with ten fix­tures each. The U. S. is set to host all games from the quar­ter­fi­nals on­ward.

An op­ti­mistic prom­ise of de­liv­er­ing $14 bil­lion in rev­enue helped sway vot­ers, along with the lack of ma­jor con­struc­tion work re­quired on the 16 planned sta­di­ums, all of which al­ready ex­ist.

By con­trast, Morocco ap­peared too haz­ardous as a po­ten­tial host when all 14 venues had to be built or ren­o­vated as part of a $16 bil­lion in­vest­ment in new in­fra­struc­ture. The vote leaves Morocco reel­ing from a fifth fail­ure in a World Cup host­ing vote, with the con­ti­nent’s sole tour­na­ment com­ing in 2010 in South Africa.

While Morocco’s com­bined tick­ets and hos­pi­tal­ity rev­enue would be $1.07 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to FIFA anal­y­sis, North Amer­ica would gen­er­ate $2 bil­lion ad­di­tional in­come.

Canada will host men’s World Cup matches for the first time, while Mex­ico gets its first taste of the event since stag­ing the en­tire event in 1986.

The 87,000- ca­pac­ity MetLife Sta­dium out­side New York is pro­posed for the fi­nal. It’s just miles from where fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors spear­headed an on­go­ing inves-

SETH WENIG — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Jor­dan Spi­eth, drives off the 16th tee dur­ing a prac­tice round for the U.S. Open Golf Cham­pi­onship, Wed­nes­day in Southamp­ton, N.Y.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.