US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out
The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA's congress voted on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid for the tournament.
The North American bid beat the rival Morocco proposal, winning 134 votes to 65 for Morocco.
The 2026 tournament will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on Thursday.
Both bids were given a last chance to make their case with 15 minute presentations in front of congress, at the Moscow Expocentre, where the north Americans pledged their tournament would generate an 11 billion dollar profit, while Morocco said theirs would make 5 billion.
Although it will be the first tournament to be hosted by three nations, the vast majority of games will be held in the Unites States.
Of the 80 games, 10 matches will be held in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the US with the final played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
"Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026," Carlos Cordiero, president of the US Soccer Federation told Congress.
"Football today is the only winner."
The US hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup but held the women’s tournament in 2015.
Morroco have now failed in five bids to host a World Cup.
The last time FIFA voted on World Cup hosting rights was in 2010 with the decision resting with the old executive committee and they chose Russia to host the 2018 tournament and Qatar for 2022.
South Africa, through the South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan, snubbed fellow Africans Morocco and voted for the joint US-Mexico-Canada bid for the rights to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Each of FIFA member associations are now voting for the winner‚ as opposed to past votes when only the members of the executive committee decided.
Jordaan confirmed to TimesLIVE shortly before the vote on Wednesday at the Congress that South Africa will vote for the joint North American bid.
It is a decision which follows government policy after recent pronouncements by Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa‚ who said South Africa could not support Morocco.
SA and Morocco have strained relations.
South Africa recognizes the Polisario government in exile in the disputed Western Sahara territory‚ which was annexed by Morocco after the colonial power Spain left in the mid-70s.