Canadian soccer official calls 2026 World Cup bid vote a 'watershed moment'

Heather Diaz
June 13, 2018

USA, Canada and Mexico will host football's World Cup 2026 after it saw off a challenge from Morocco at the FIFA Congress.

The united bid from the three North American countries received 67% of the vote while Morocco garnered 33% of the vote, or 134-65.

One of the most immediate and significant implications of Wednesday's result is that Canada's mens national team will play at a World Cup for the first time in nearly four decades, as all three host nations likely qualify automatically for the tournament. North American bid won the rights by majority votes after a lengthy 50-minute session, in which groups from various bidding parties presented their portfolios validating their capabilities to host the tournament.

But in the modern world, commercial clout and the promise of safe, sophistated infrastructure invariably carry more weight than passion and legacy - as Morocco seem likely to find to their cost when the race to stage the 2026 World Cup reaches its denouement tomorrow.

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.

In rating the risk assessment of both bidders, with grades of low-, medium- and high-risk, FIFA's own bid evaluation report gave Morocco three high-risk grades (stadiums, accommodation, and accommodation and transport), 10 medium and seven low.

"Hosting a FIFA World CupTM is an extraordinary honor and privilege", said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co‐Chair of the United Bid.

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out
US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup: FIFA vote

The Fifa meeting had 15 points on its agenda, and voting on the World Cup location was point 13. "We're talking about football and what is fundamentally, at the end of the day, the best interest of football and our footballing community".

One delegate voted for none of the bids.

"We cast our vote for the "United" bid as we believe the independent technical assessment made its advantages very clear". The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar.

Infantino is believed to strongly support the North American bid because the three countries involved backed him for the presidency in 2016 when he took over after the reign of Blatter. North America will host the six-team playoff tournament in November 2025 to decide the last two places in the 48-team lineup.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first competition where 48 nations will compete in the tournament, which is the biggest in the footballing world.

Cordeiro has said his bid would generate $14bn in revenue and make an $11bn profit for Federation Internationale de Football Association. The only two official bids came from the U.S. -Canada-Mexico of North America, and Morocco of Africa.

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