Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Led joint bid wins right to host 2026 World Cup

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out 2026 World Cup Voting: Ghana absent | Sports News 2018-06-13
Lucia Summers | 13 June, 2018, 19:47

Allied with that unpredictability came an unpalatable presence at the heart of the United bid - U.S. President Donald Trump.

The United States, Canada, and Mexico have won out over Morocco in a joint bid to host FIFA's 2026 World Cup, reports Sports Illustrated.

The U.S. last hosted World Cup games in 1996, Mexico last hosted in 1986 and Canada has never hosted men's World Cup matches.

Anxious that rivals might try to turn the vote into a referendum on Trump, who is deeply unpopular in many parts of the world, organizers of the North American bid took pains to dissociate their efforts from politics.

Morocco, which has now lost five bid campaigns, was classy in defeat - congratulating the North American winners.

Trump, who has called for a wall to be built on the USA southern border with Mexico to stem illegal immigration and just days ago attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on trade issues, praised the outcome as the result of "a great deal of hard work" on his Twitter feed. Trump will be gone from office when the tournament does take place.

All matches from the Quarterfinal on, including the World Cup Final, will be played in the United States.

Wednesday's vote, conducted during the FIFA Congress at Moscow's expo center, provided a much-needed victory for American soccer, which is in the process of rebuilding the men's program in the wake of last fall's failure to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out
US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup: FIFA vote

Delegates had been faced with a clear choice - the joint North American bid boasts modern, established stadiums and well-developed transport links underpinned by Mexican football fervour. Years later, in the aftermath of a Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption scandal that resulted in numerous criminal indictments, the organization introduced reforms and changed the process for choosing the World Cup host.

The World Cup final will be played in New Jersey's Metlife Stadium, which holds around 85,000.

Steven Reed, president of the Canadian Soccer Association, called the FIFA Congress decision "an extraordinary honour and privilege".

The host team always qualifies for the tournament, but there are questions about whether or not all three countries will be given automatic berths.

Baltimore and M&T Bank Stadium fared well in FIFA's assessment of potential game venues, and the city is considered the favorite to host the World Cup Team Workshop, which brings together delegations from all 48 competing nations for a pretournament introduction to the World Cup's organization.

Wednesday's vote, held in Moscow on the eve of this year's tournament, was about much more than just the 2026 host nation.

After Trump threatened reprisal on those who reject the United bid, there have been concerns of coercive strategy and that non-footballing factors could sway some voters.

Infantino, the former secretary general of football's European governing body UEFA, was little known before he took over sport's richest governing body. The United Bid is expecting to make more than half that in ticket revenue alone.

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