North America to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup

Ronaldo, pop star Robbie Williams on stage to kick off World Cup opening ceremony

In a vote of more than 200 member nations of soccer's governing body in Moscow, the so-called United Bid beat out Morocco, 134-65. 60 matches will take place in the U.S. with the remaining 20 split evenly between Canada and Mexico. In eight year's time, numerous young rising stars of the United States men's national team should be in their prime as it is expected to be the first World Cup with 48 teams.

The United States, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The United Bid listed MetLife Stadium outside of New York City as its proposed site for the final.

The vote means that the World Cup will come to the United States for the first time since 1994, amid growing interest in soccer.

There will be 16 host cities split between the USA (10), Canada (three), and Mexico (three).

"Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2026", said Carlos Cordeiro, president of the US Soccer Federation.

The joint North American bid was considered a heavy favorite from the outset and earned high marks from FIFA's bid evaluators because it will, in theory, require less construction and lower costs than the Moroccan bid, which carried an estimated price tag above $15 billion. In all likelihood, 11 of the 17 proposed United States sites will make the cut.

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The qualification places available is expected to be as follows: Europe 16 teams; Africa 9; Asia 8.5, South America 6, Concacaf 6.5, Oceania 1 and, in normal circumstance, one spot for the host nation. To counter concerns about severe travel, the bid said teams would be placed in regional clusters.

Interested in World Cup?

And perhaps most persuasive, the North American bid promised Federation Internationale de Football Association a record $11 billion in profit, almost double the $6.6 billion that governing body expects to earn in the 2022 event in Qatar and more than double the $5 billion estimated by Morocco. The Switzerland-based organization reports its revenue in four-year cycles, and most recently claimed $5.7 billion for the cycle culminating in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Next, Fifa's evaluation task force raised serious doubts about Morocco's capacity to host the World Cup. Another three are cities that will have expansion teams coming into MLS.

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

Canada has not qualified since 1986, which is the last time the United States of America did not qualify, before 2018. Seventeen American cities remain in the running to host games, while Canada (Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto) and Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey) have just three cities each in contention. Matches in Washington that summer were played at RFK Stadium.

Two notable absences, Chicago and Vancouver, did not agree to Fifa's requirements for hosting games and withdrew from consideration.

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