North America to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup

South Africa, Guinea, Liberia, Benin, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Cape Verde, and Zimbabwe were the eleven African countries who paved the way for the joint United States-Canada-Mexico bid to win. The North American bid earned a total of 134 votes, while Morocco garnered 65.

Many in the worldwide community viewed this decision as a reflection of how far Federation Internationale de Football Association has come after years of scandal and widespread corruption, some of which was tied to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes.

It means global football's showpiece event will return to the North American continent for the first time since 1994 when the United States hosted the tournament. The US will see the majority of the action, however, hosting 60 of 80 matches, including the final at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, per the New York Times.

Morocco's presentation took some not-so-subtle shots at the USA, 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. Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and '86.

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"I think Seattle has an advantage on some of those other cities that it's vying with, just based on recent soccer history", said Carr, who has covered three World Cups as ESPN's lead soccer researcher. The intercontinental playoff will be held somewhere in the United States, Canada or Mexico, perhaps in November 2025. In all likelihood, 11 of the 17 proposed U.S. sites will make the cut.

The World Cup is coming back to America.

Want smart World Cup analysis, opinions, viewing guides and more? To counter concerns about severe travel, the bid said teams would be placed in regional clusters. The United Bid featured a youth team player from each of the three nations, beginning with a moving tale by 17-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies, the current Major League Soccer player of the week, about how his family had been welcomed after fleeing civil war in Africa.

Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa: "It's an opportunity to bring the world together and highlight how well things work between Canada, Mexico and the United States". Hosting rights for previous World Cups had been awarded by what was then a 24-person FIFA Executive Committee. Matches in Mexico will be played in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara; games in Canada will be played in Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton, according to Pro Soccer Talk. FIFA said in May 2017 that the question will be answered by the FIFA Council at a later date, and no decision was made on Wednesday.

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CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, has seven slots in the World Cup. Despite the latest setback, Morocco vowed to continue its bid to host the tournament in future.

Starting in 2026, there will be 16 groups of three teams, with the top two teams in the group advancing into the expanded round-of-32 knockout stages.

Canada would benefit the most from getting an automatic bid, considering it has not successfully qualified on its own since 1986.

The FIFA inspectors had deemed Morocco a "high risk" choice, describing the two bids as "almost at opposite ends of the spectrum".

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