Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Canada, US and Mexico to host 2026 World Cup

Canada, US and Mexico to host 2026 World Cup

The World Cup host usually receives automatic entry into the tournament, but Federation Internationale de Football Association has yet to announce whether it will extend this pass to all three host nations in 2026.

FIFA members vote Wednesday on whether to award the 2026 World Cup to frontrunners North America or to underdogs Morocco, which has African support to bring football's showpiece event back to the continent.

But compared to North America, Morocco's bid exists largely on paper - many stadiums and roads would have to be built and critics question how it would cope with the 2026 tournament, which will be expanded to 48 teams.

One of the most immediate and significant implications of Wednesday's result is that Canada's mens national team will play at a World Cup for the first time in nearly four decades, as all three host nations likely qualify automatically for the tournament.

"Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honor and privilege", Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer, said in a statement. "However, it is important to note that both bids were deemed to have met the hosting requirements and a tournament in Morocco, close to Europe and in a country that loves football, had a great deal for English football fans to be excited about". Canada's sole World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico, where they did not score a goal, losing to France, Hungry and the Soviet Union in the group stage.

The United Bid saw off competition from Morocco to win the vote at FIFA's annual congress at Moscow's Expocentre by votes of 134 to 65 votes. Mexico has served as host on two occasions - in 1970 and 1986 - while Canada has never hosted the men's World Cup.

Spain's Miguel Salgado, Iker Casillas and Portugal's Luis Figo, from left, chat prior to the Fifa Congress on the eve of the 2018 World Cup finals in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday.

Three Canadian cities - Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto - could potentially host matches.

A giant screen displays the logo of Morocco 2026 before a press conference to promote Morocco's bib for the 2026 soccer World Cup in Casablanca.

The "United Bid" calls for the host 60 matches, including all games from the quarter-finals through to the final.

There were insinuations that after President Donald Trump sort of threatened to withhold or stop aid and help to countries they now support, there were fears that a lot of countries, including Nigeria, would be forced to vote for the United bid. American soccer officials downplayed the influence of politics on the bid.

The 3.6 million attendees remain a World Cup record, despite the fact that only 24 nations competed at the time. The U.S. team failed to qualify this year.

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