2026 Football World Cup heads to US, Canada and Mexico
The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico after their joint bid beat Morocco’s proposal to host it.
The ‘United 2026’ bid was selected by Fifa member nations, winning 134 votes compared to 65 for Morocco. The 2026 tournament will be the biggest World Cup ever held – with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days.
“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.”
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.
Both Mexico (1970 and 1986) and the United States (1994) have previously hosted World Cups.
Canada staged the Women’s World Cup in 2015.
The bidding process
Since the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively in December 2010, widespread corruption has been exposed in the global game, including allegations of bribery and payment for votes.
A BBC Panorama documentary claimed Qatar spent £117m on their successful bid for the 2022 World Cup – the first to be held in winter – while former Fifa president Sepp Blatter suggested there was an agreement in place for Russia to host the 2018 tournament before the vote took place.
Prominent figures, including Blatter, have since been indicted.
As a result Fifa – under the presidency of Gianni Infantino – promised a “more open and transparent” vote to decide the 2026 World Cup host.
It was decided that Fifa’s 22-strong executive committee would no longer vote on behalf of the membership, as had occurred previously,
Instead, the two bids made a final 15-minute presentation in front of congress before the Fifa member nations cast their votes.
The winning bid
The ‘United’ World Cup will generate $14bn (£10.3bn) in revenue and make an $11bn (£8.1bn) profit for Fifa, says Cordeiro.
Of the 16 host cities, 10 will be in the United States while the remainder will be split evenly between Canada and Mexico.
Sixty matches will take place in the US, while Canada and Mexico will host 10 games each.
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 tournament will mark the first time a World Cup has been shared by three host nations. The 1994 World Cup, staged by the US, had the highest average attendance in the tournament’s history, while Mexico was the first nation to host the event twice. (BBC Sport)