The 2026 soccer World Cup finals will be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico, soccer’s world governing body FIFA announced on Wednesday.
The organization’s leaders voted in Moscow to award the bid to the three North American countries, choosing them over Morocco, which was also in the running.
The vote comes a day ahead of the opening game of this year’s World Cup in Russia, a match to be played Thursday between the hosts and Saudi Arabia.
It will be the first time since the quadrennial tournament started in 1938 that three nations have joined together to host the final round of the tournament. Usually, all finals games are played in one host country. In 2002, two countries, Japan and South Korea, jointly hosted. It will be the first time the finals have come to North America in 32 years, when the USA hosted the 1994 tournament. Mexico played hosts in 1970 and 1986.
The North American World Cup will be the largest to date as the tournament expands to 48 teams. There will be 80 matches in the finals round, played at 23 host cities, which are yet to be determined. Under the terms of the bid, he U.S. will host 60 of the 80 matches, including the semifinals and championship game. Mexico and Canada will host 10 games each.
Nearly 6 million tickets will be sold. The organization that made the bid for North America promised FIFA the games will net $11 billion, which would mean millions extra for each national association.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 13, 2018
“Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport,” said Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer and Co-Chair of the bidding organization. ‘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.”
CITIES HOPE FOR MATCHES:
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Business Insider: The bid cities likely to host matches