The combined North American bid of the United States, Mexico and Canada was awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, moving Baltimore one step closer toward possibly hosting a match in the quadrennial soccer competition.
The North American bid beat competition from Morocco, which was hoping to become just the second African country to host soccer's biggest worldwide tournament. Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026. "Football today is the only victor".
The 2026 tournament will be played in Canada, Mexico and the United States, whose joint bid was recently approved, and will feature a record 48 teams.
With the successful bid, the men's World Cup will be coming to Canada for the first time. It will be the first ever World Cup that will bring together 48 teams hence the need for more facilities and proper management.
The plan is that Canada and Mexico would each host 10 matches, while 60 matches would be played in the United States.
Federation Internationale de Football Association now has the final say on which cities are selected to host games and whether all three countries are guaranteed a place at the tournament.
Nashville has recently hosted World Cup Qualifying matches and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.
The United States was defeated in the final round of voting to determine the 2022 World Cup host.
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"On Dec. 2, 2010, I couldn't decide if I never wanted to go anywhere near this again or if we should start working on the next one right away", he said, referring to the tainted loss to Qatar's bid.
The congress was presided over by Fifa's head Gianni Infantino while it was opened by Russian president Vladimir Putin, who received a standing ovation from attendees at Moscow's Expocentre.
The World Cup kicks off in Moscow on Thursday.
The "united bid" won out over Morocco, 134-65.
Denver is among the cities included in the USA bid, but there's no word yet on which cities will hold the matches.
Canada's venues would be in Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto, while the Mexican potential host cities are Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.
To do so would have invited ridicule when it needed to build or renovate the 14 stadiums it wants to use - a task FIFA's technical report said "cannot be overstated".
The other African defectors were Benin, Botswana, the Cape Verde Islands, Lesotho, Liberia, Namibia and Sierra Leone and, although mathematically their loss was not decisive, the prospect of a failure to get Africa solidly behind Morocco's bid did damage its cause, officials added. Several hotels around the metro would host teams and FIFA VIPs during the tournament.