Canada-Mexico-USA win joint bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup

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Canada, Mexico and the United States won their joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup at the 68th FIFA Congress here on Wednesday.

This is the first World Cup to be hosted in three countries and the first since 2002 to be held in multiple nations.

The joint bid, branded United 2026, won 134 out of the total 203 votes, meeting the criteria of a simple majority for the winner.

"Hosting the 2026 World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport," U.S. soccer federation president Carlos Cordeiro said after the win.

Mexico football federation president Decio De Maria said he was "grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA's new vision for the future of football."

Canada soccer federation president Steven Reed also hailed the news. "Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honor and privilege. Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup in history," he said.

A total of 210 members were present at the Congress, but seven abstained from voting: the four countries directly involved (USA, Canada, Mexico and Morocco) and three US-governed territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands).

Morocco collected 65 votes, while one voted for neither and three votes were void.

It became a public vote minutes after the ballot, when FIFA made public all the votes on the big screen.

The 2026 World Cup will involve an expanded format, with 48 teams contesting a total of 80 matches, compared to the 32 teams and 64 matches of the upcoming World Cup in Russia.

Before the 15-second vote, FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura read the key points of the bid evaluation report made by a FIFA Task Force.

According to the report, United 2026 received a score of 4.0 out of 5.0 while Morocco's bid scored 2.7 out of 5.0.

Out of 20 categories of potential risk, Morocco scored low in just seven, medium in 10 and was marked high for stadiums, accommodation and transport. The United 2026 scored low in all but three (medium risk for organizing costs, government support, and human rights and labour standards).

On April 10, 2017, the soccer federation presidents of Canada, Mexico and the United States announced that they would submit a joint bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The United States hosted a men's World Cup in 1994, and Mexico boasted twice, in 1970 and in 1986. The men's World Cup has never been held in Canada or Morocco.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off here on Thursday without the U.S. national team, which failed to qualify from the CONCACAF zone. 

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