Moscow, Russia: FIFA voted Wednesday to award the 2026 World Cup to US-Canada-Mexico joint bid as delegates from 207 nations gathered in Moscow to cast their votes on the eve of the 2018 World Cup. The North America joint bid known as the united bid beat the Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.
“We have a winner for the 2026 FIFA #WorldCup – the member associations of #Canada, #Mexico and the #US have been selected by the FIFA Congress to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, announcing the voting results.
This would be the first time that three countries will be hosting the World Cup. It will be only the second time there will be joint hosts for the World Cup, after Japan and South Korea hosted the tournament in 2002.
The soccer showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
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.
Responding to years of scandals, FIFA sought to position this vote as a transparent and open process. After the vote was tallied, FIFA also displayed how each country had voted, for instance.
Before the vote was held, the organization showed its evaluation of the two top bids, showing that it had given a decisive edge to the North Americans in several crucial criteria, covering stadiums, accommodations and transport.
Of the 211 Fifa member nations, 200 cast a vote at the 68th Fifa Congress in Moscow on Wednesday, with the winning bid needing a majority of 104.
Canada, Mexico, Morocco and the US were exempt, while Ghana was absent after the country’s government said it had disbanded its football association amid allegations of “widespread” corruption.
Three US territories – Guam, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico – were among the other member nations to not vote.
The North American tournament will be the first 1994 men’s World Cup held in the United States. Mexico hosted the tournaments in 1970 and 1968 and this will be Canada’s first time hosting.
The 2026 tournament will be the biggest World Cup ever held – with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days.
The U.S. will host 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 – but every game from the quarter-finals onwards will take place in the US.
The United bid team said they would generate profits of $11 billion for FIFA, compared to $5 billion from Morocco.
This is the fifth time Morocco has bid unsuccessfully to hold the tournament. It would have become the second African country after South Africa in 2010 to host the World Cup.
The final will be held at the 84,953-capacity MetLife Stadium, which is home to NFL sides the New York Giants and the New York Jets.
The distance between the most northern host city (Edmonton) and the most southern (Mexico City) is almost 3,000 miles, which compares to 1,900 miles at this month’s tournament in Russia.
“The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!” – U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted.
“Football is the only victor. We are all united in football,” US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. “Thank you so, so much for this incredible honour. Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege.” he added
“Hosting the 2026 Fifa World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport. We are humbled by the trust our colleagues in the Fifa family have put in our bid, strengthened by the unity between our three countries and the Concacaf region and excited by the opportunity we have to put football on a new and sustainable path for generations to come.” U.S. Soccer Federation said.
“I wish to congratulate Fifa for the conduct of this process and congratulate the president for what he has done in order to move things towards more transparency and more inclusion. I would like to reaffirm the determination of my country to continue to work for football and realise one day our dream to host the World Cup in Morocco.” spokesman for Mexico. Football Federation said.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino will stand for re-election in June next year.
Infantino confirmed his expected candidacy in a speech about leadership, minutes after FIFA member federations voted for the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 world Cup.
Infantino said leaders must bring “clarity, decisiveness, courage, passion and humility.”
The FIFA election is next June 5 in Paris.