U.S., Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is heading to North America after a joint bid from the United States, Canada, and Mexico defeated Morocco in a landslide vote. Citing a number of high-profile sponsors dropping FIFA, London newspaper The Independent reported that FIFA's 2018 World Cup sponsorship revenues were down $240 million.

The North American nations' pitch outscored Morocco on the official evaluation, which laid the groundwork for a return to the continent for the first time since US hosted alone in 1994.

President Donald Trump's negative comments on African countries and his bid to tighten immigration restrictions on some nations have likely helped Morocco's cause.

Russian organizers say they expect World Cup spending to exceed $11 billion, though that tally does not include undisclosed spending on some of the new city infrastructure and stadiums that will be used during the event.

The North America bid received 134 of the 203 votes, while Morocco polled 65 in the vote of the FIFA Congress in Moscow which saw one member vote for "neither bid". Three cities each in Canada and Mexico will also host games.

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from NY, said: "While the official name of the bid is United 2026, the three potential host nations are right now anything but united".

As part of Canada, Mexico and the United States' final presentation to the FIFA Congress, the United Bid showed this video that explains their bid to voters. The US would host 60 of those games, while Canada and Mexico would hold 10 each. But in the end, it was a non-factor, as the "United Bid" earned more than double the votes of Morocco. It will be the first World Cup since the 2002 edition in South Korea and Japan in which multiple countries will host.

It will be the first World Cup tournament held across three nations, featuring an expanded field of 48 teams and a record 80 matches.

Mexico has twice hosted the World Cup, in 1970 and 1986.

"Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honor and privilege", Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer, said in a statement. That remains the only World Cup the Canadian men have ever qualified for.

One has to think all three will receive an automatic pass into the tournament.

FIFA's hosting selection process was revamped in the wake of recent scandals enveloping the world governing body of soccer. And perhaps most persuasive, the North American bid promised Federation Internationale de Football Association a record $11 billion in profit, almost double the $6.6 billion that governing body expects to earn in the 2022 event in Qatar and more than double the $5 billion estimated by Morocco.

The evaluation report also offers a "technical scoring" of the two bids, with Morocco getting 274.9 out of 500, compared to the United bid's 402.8 total.