FIFA World Cup 2026 to be held in USA, Canada and Mexico

Robbie Williams will perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Moscow

Robbie Williams will perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Moscow

A total of 200 delegates representing every country registered with Federation Internationale de Football Association cast their vote, selecting the North American bid 134 to 65 over a bid from Morocco, with one voting for neither bid.

"It's a bit emotional for us today", Carlos Cordeiro, president of U.S. Soccer, said after the vote.

A FA spokesperson said: "We congratulate the USA, Canada and Mexico on winning the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup".

Typically, the host nation gets an automatic berth in the World Cup.

But the North American bid feared it could lose out if the vote becomes a referendum on the popularity of US President Donald Trump.

Canada, Mexico, Morocco and the U.S. were exempt, while Ghana was absent after the country's government said it had disbanded its football association amid allegations of "widespread" corruption.

Wednesday's vote, held in Moscow on the eve of this year's tournament, was about much more than just the 2026 host nation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in October both Blatter and ex-UEFA head Michel Platini, who was also suspended following an ethics investigation, would be welcome at the World Cup as "old friends" of the Russian president. Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1986; Canada never has. It will be a World Cup first for Canada.

Wednesday's vote offers hope that this could lead to an entirely new generation of Canadian youngsters taking up soccer, which could have long-term benefits for the men's team.

The games in Canada will be divided between Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto. You can't really fix it, except to put it right next time. It was all for wearing that jersey, to represent my country and get us to a World Cup.

The U.S. last hosted the World Cup in 1994, an event that eventually gave rise to Major League Soccer, now in its 23rd season.

The 2026 installment will see the World Cup expand from 32 to 46 teams with the bloated format seeing a total of 80 games take place.

Morocco has tried, and failed, four times, most recently in a bid to host the 2010 World Cup, which went to South Africa as the African continent hosted for the first time.

Of the 80 games, Canada and Mexico will be hosting 10 games each, and the US will be hosting 60.

That, along with the promise of major revenues from North American sponsors and television networks, was appealing to Federation Internationale de Football Association, an organization that has been beset by global corruption scandals, concerns over exorbitant costs related to previous tournaments, and allegations of widespread labor and human rights abuses around the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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. Elsewhere in the region, Philadelphia is also under consideration for the 2026 competition, as are Boston and Cincinnati.

The Mexican candidate cities are Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.

Christian Pulisic, the best soccer player now wearing a USMNT jersey, won't be a feature star during the 2018 World Cup.

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