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World Cup 2026: United States, Canada and Mexico Win Bid to Be Host

The 2026 contest will be one of firsts. It will be a initial time a World Cup is hosted by 3 countries, a initial time it has a 48-team format, adult from 32 teams, and it was a initial time a opinion was motionless by FIFA’s whole membership. Of a tournament’s 80 matches, 10 will be in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in a United States — including a final, during MetLife Stadium in a New York City suburb of East Rutherford, N.J.

The final time a men’s World Cup was hold in North America was when a United States hosted in 1994. It was hold in Mexico in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted. It was misleading Wednesday if all 3 nations would be postulated involuntary bids into a field, as is prevalent for a horde nation; FIFA pronounced there had been no final preference on a matter.

North American bid leaders have been on a highway given April, visiting voting nations around a globe. Several tip officials and bid staff members even relocated to London for many of May, anticipating it a improved bottom stay from that to revisit federations in Europe, Asia, a Middle East and southern Africa. At one indicate dual weeks ago, Cordeiro and his staff trafficked to Bangkok for a singular meeting, returning a subsequent day.

The lobbying — bid leaders estimated they had met 150 of FIFA’s 211 organisation presidents face to face — paid off. The North Americans rode to feat on a call of support from a Americas, Europe and Asia, and a few votes poached from Africa, whose informal soccer president, Ahmed Ahmed, released a egotistic defence to his members on Tuesday, propelling them to opinion for Morocco as a pitch of African unity.

“From a few days ago, we always had a transparent trail to victory,” Cordeiro said. Still, even he could not have believed some of a support that finished adult entrance a approach of a North Americans, particularly a opinion from Russia.

After a months of meetings and arm-twisting, a hundreds of airline flights and a weeks in ever-changing hotels, a debate that began final Aug when Morocco jumped into a race (on a final day countries could do so), finished in an instant: with a 15-second note and a brief proclamation by a FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, that a 3 federations had prevailed.

And usually a few hours after Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, welcomed a universe to applaud a 2018 World Cup, a North American soccer leaders took to a same theatre to tell a universe to applaud with them in 2026.


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The feat spared U.S. Soccer a second overwhelming better in reduction than a year; a United States men’s group is blank a World Cup this summer, a initial deficiency given 1986. The American organisation spent some-more than $6 million — out of a total bill of about $8 million — to move a World Cup behind to North America, a perfection of an thought set in suit in a Vancouver grill 7 years ago, according to Victor Montagliani, a conduct of Concacaf, a informal ruling body.

World Cup 2026: How Each Country Voted

Here’s how any soccer organisation in FIFA voted on Wednesday.

As representatives surged to honour a winners, Montagliani took a low exhale to cruise a tour that cumulative soccer’s biggest prize. He pronounced he had recognised a devise while he was Canada’s soccer head, and managed to convince Sunil Gulati, afterwards a U.S. soccer president, to join in a intensity corner offer after Canada staged a successful women’s World Cup in 2015. Gulati, who was transposed by Cordeiro in Feb after disappearing to run for re-election, initial cumulative a support of a authority of a successful Mexican radio channel Televisa and finally a Mexican soccer federation.

“I was so shaken sitting adult there since we don’t have control over anything,” pronounced Montagliani, who was seated on a lifted dais with FIFA’s comparison membership as a preference was announced. “It’s like your small baby — though it was a good group bid by everybody involved. There’s zero utterly like a World Cup.”

The North Americans had charity FIFA’s member associations a processed World Cup; a 23 stadiums they charity as intensity hosts are built, as is many of a infrastructure a stretched 48-team contest will need: training sites, hotels, airports, rail lines.

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And, like Morocco, a North Americans also had a full support of their governments. The nations’ supposed United Bid was a singular subject on that a presidents of a 3 countries found common cause, and a United States government, including President Trump, had mounted a cat-like shade campaign to try to win over FIFA and a member federations.

The North American bid’s signature offered point, however, was delivered in a denunciation FIFA members prolonged have understood: revenue. The North Americans betrothed FIFA an $11 billion profit — a towering sum that could meant as most as $50 million for any inhabitant association.

Morocco, that affianced a eminence reduction than half as vast as a rivals, criticized a concentration on income over soccer until a sour end.

“The United Bid is proposing an offer that is especially a business offer for football,” one Moroccan official, Moncef Belkhayat, pronounced on Monday. “Their offer is formed on dollars, on profit, while Morocco is charity an offer that is formed on passion for football, for growth of football — not usually in Morocco, though also in Africa.”

After a defeat, African officials collected around their president, Ahmed, as he scanned a list of countries that did not opinion for Morocco.


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“We are hurting: You demeanour during a countries from your continent that didn’t opinion and we have blood Arab countries that upheld a opposite nation, that’s where it hurts more,” pronounced Daniel Amokachi, a Nigerian former soccer player.

Yet there were critical concerns about Morocco’s candidacy from a beginning, particularly how a North African republic could cope with a large endeavour of hosting a initial 48-team World Cup. It would have indispensable to spend billions of dollars to build 9 stadiums and to significantly reconstruct 5 others, and do it all in 8 years — 4 fewer than a 12 FIFA gave to Qatar, that still has not finished a pursuit of removing prepared for a 2022 World Cup.

Then there were a hotels, a highways, a rail links and a comforts to horde a contest set to move some-more than 1,100 players and millions of fans to North Africa; all would have indispensable to be built, during a cost of billions more.

Morocco, that has now mislaid 5 efforts to theatre a tournament, vowed to press forward and build a projects it presented to voters. “We managed this bid with a sporting suggestion and we will continue a trail in a same vein,” pronounced Moulay Hafid Elalamy, a millionaire bid chairman.

The finish outcome was distant some-more fatiguing than it competence have seemed in a last-gasp votes that played into a early hours of Wednesday morning. At one point, both bid teams arrived during a hotel housing Asian representatives shortly before 1 a.m., as rumors began to widespread that a Moroccans competence have gained some ground. They were sparked by an proclamation by a Netherlands soccer organisation that it would behind Morocco, discordant to what officials had told a Americans as recently as final week.

The feat will also be distinguished secretly by FIFA’s leadership, that had given indications it elite a collateral and expected billions delivered by holding a contest behind to North America. A technical report, that FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, regularly told electorate to read, scored a winning bid distant aloft than Morocco’s offer, that FIFA inspectors pronounced had several risk factors. Infantino’s No. 2, Fatma Samoura, released a same sign usually before voting got underway.

Infantino, who announced his skeleton to mount for a second tenure during an choosing subsequent year, has been on a expostulate to lift a supports he needs to make good on promises to drastically boost a volume of appropriation he can broach to inhabitant soccer federations, a usually voting subdivision in a presidential election.

Cordeiro pronounced a Americans also spoke to members about how a World Cup hosted by a North Americans would lead to a money asset for everyone. In Scandinavia final month, he pronounced any organisation could get as most as an additional $50 million should a 2026 World Cup accommodate a $11 billion eminence target. “Let that penetrate in,” he told them.

By Wednesday, it was transparent a summary had been listened shrill and clear.

Correction: Jun 13, 2018

A news warning about a opinion to horde a contest gave an improper eminence to a winner. It was a initial time a corner bid from 3 countries was selected; it was not a initial time any corner bid was selected.

Andrew Das contributed reporting.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/sports/world-cup/fifa-2026-vote-north-america-morocco.html