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.
All 211 Member Associations of FIFA voted at the body’s 68th Congress in the Russian capital to choose between African candidate Morocco, and the joint bid of the USA, Canada and Mexico.
The North American bid beat the rival Morocco proposal, winning 134 votes to 65 for Morocco.
Morocco was bidding for the fifth time to host the world’s biggest single-sport fiesta, and has launched a compact bid in which all host cities are within a radius of maximum two hours by air travel.
In contrast, the USA-Canada-Mexico bid spans the entire North American continent, and could present host cities that are the farthest apart in the history of the competition that began in 1930.
Styled the ‘United Bid’, the candidacy of USA-Canada-Mexico says it potentially has 23 host cities, with 17 of these located in the USA. There are three in Canada and three in Mexico.
Morocco’s candidacy, on the other hand was believed to be strong with support from a majority of African countries and the European confederation.
USA hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994, while Mexico hosted in 1970 and 1986.
Canada has never hosted the World Cup but staged the Olympic Games in 1976, the U17 World Cup in 1987, the U20 World Cup in 2007 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup finals will take place in Qatar, while the 2026 finals will be the first to have 48 teams in attendance. (Reuters/NAN)