Moscow, Wednesday @PeopleSports11
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 a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.
The football showpiece will return to the US for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
All three host nations are expected to be given a free pass to the tournament’s group stages, though this has yet to be confirmed by FIFA.
Mexico are the only one of the three to have secured passage to this summer’s edition while Canada have never even scored a World Cup goal.
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 US 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 US is set to host all games from the quarter-finals onward.
“Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026. Football today is the only winner,” Carlos Cordiero, president of the US Soccer Federation told Congress.
An optimistic promise of delivering $14billion 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. -DAILYMAIL