The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA’s congress voted on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid for the tournament. The North American bid beat the rival Morocco proposal, winning 134 votes to 65 for Morocco. “This is an incredible, and incredibly important, the moment for football in North America and beyond,” said Carlos Cordeiro, the president of US football was quoted as saying by ESPN.
“I’m convinced that it was critical to get in front of people, face-to-face,” Cordeiro said. “They are elected federation officials just like we are, and you can relate to them because of that — whether it’s a big country or a small one.”
“I make the argument that we are a vast, powerful wealthy nation, but we have haves and have-nots, and our disenfranchised are underserved, and in many ways, these are the people with whom the sport resonates most,” Cordeiro said. “If we can bring them into the game, we’ll go from four million to 12 million participants. Every little kid who is 10 years old and says, ‘I want to play in that World Cup 10 years from now’ — well, why can’t they?”
“On Dec. 2, 2010, I couldn’t decide if I never wanted to go anywhere near this again or if we should start working on the next one right away,” he said, referring to the tainted loss to Qatar’s bid. “But I’m glad we did. And this a really fantastic day for football.”
The 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams playing a total of 80 games – 60 are planned in the US and 10 each in Canada and Mexico. All three hosts should get automatic places in the lineup, and each host a game on opening day.
Morocco lost again with its fifth bid campaign in the past 30 years, including to the US for the 1994 World Cup. The 2026 tournament will return to the North American region 32 years after that US-hosted edition. Mexico also hosted in 1970 and 1986.
(With inputs from AP)