United Bid Selected to Host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

  • United Bid Selected to Host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

United Bid Selected to Host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

The chance to co-host the 2026 World Cup is an opportunity to put Canada on the world stage, politicians said Wednesday after soccer's worldwide governing body voted in favour of a joint North American bid for the event.

"We were very hopeful but, at the end of the day, if you lose a certain number of votes from your own continent, and from some of our Arab brothers, who flipped coins, then you have no chance", said Morocco bid ambassador Daniel Amokachi. The U.S. team did not qualify for this year's World Cup, which begins Thursday in Russian Federation.

There's no guarantee Canada will have a team at the 2026 World Cup, the first time it will be hosted by more than one country.

Nashville has recently hosted World Cup Qualifying matches and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches. U.S. will regroup in the coming years and attempt to clinch a spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar before turning its attention to home pursuits.

"Hosting a FIFA World Cup™ is an extraordinary honor and privilege", said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid.

In the US, 60 World Cup matches will be played across 10 cities. Whether FIFA also extends this courtesy to Mexico and Canada - the latter a relative nonentity in global soccer that has qualified for just one World Cup in 1986 - remains to be seen.

Highlights of the bid included promising $11 billion in profit on more than $14 billion in revenue and an already strong infrastructure for hosting.

Four current MLS stadiums (Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Gillette Stadium outside of Boston, Seattle's CenturyLink Field and BMO Field in Toronto) are in the mix for World Cup matches.

In a bid process that lasted 15 seconds, FIFA revealed that Nigeria, through the Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, voted for Morocco.

Morocco's presentation took some not-so-subtle shots at the US, highlighting the fact that guns are banned in Morocco and stating that during the 1994 World Cup even world-renowned soccer stars were unknown in America. The tournament will be the first under an expanded 48-game format. That tournament still holds the all-time World Cup attendance record, despite there being only 24 teams involved compared to 32 today.

"To have a message coming from football that says actually Mexico, Canada and the United States together can organize the biggest sporting and social event together", Infantino said. This will be the first time since 2002 that the World Cup will be held in multiple nations.

"Arrowhead is a bucket list destination for fans across all sports, and we are confident it would be a tremendous environment for the world's best soccer teams to showcase their talent", Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement in March, when Kansas City was added to the short list of potential USA host sites.