US, Canada and Mexico named 2026 World Cup hosts
13 Jun 2018, 23:35
DF-Xinhua Report by Michael Place
The United States, Canada and Mexico will jointly host the 2026 football World Cup after beating out a rival bid from Morocco in a vote of FIFA delegates here on Wednesday.
Representatives from 200 member federations cast a vote during the annual FIFA conference held on the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It will be the first time that football's flagship tournament will be hosted by three nations, with the majority of games to be held in the US.
The US previously hosted the World Cup in 1994 while Mexico staged the event in 1970 and 1986. It will be the first time the competition is played in Canada.
The North American candidacy received 134 votes to Morocco's 65 while one member association opted not to choose either candidacy.
"On behalf of our United Bid, thank you so very much for this incredible honor. Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege, the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026," US FA president Carlos Cordeiro said after the vote. "The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures. Football today is the only victor."
John Kristick, the executive director of the United Bid committee, said that United 2026 "can focus on the game. We are ready made. Our cities are ready to host today."
The US will host 60 of the 80 matches, including all of the quarterfinals, semifinals and the final. Mexico and Canada will stage 10 games each.
The final will be held at the 84,953-capacity MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the home of NFL teams the New York Giants and the New York Jets.
Some 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) will separate the northernmost city of Edmonton and Mexico City in the far south. The largest distance between cities at this year's event in Russia is 1,900 miles.
In a presentation to the conference before the vote, North American officials said an expected tournament profit of 11 billion US dollars would be shared among federations to invest in facilities and development programs.
The United Bid also underlined the high quality of existing infrastructure, including stadiums, and the countries' experience in staging major sports events.
Morocco was hoping to be the second African nation to stage the World Cup after South Africa in 2010.
Morocco made four previous attempts to host the World Cup: in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.
The country's football officials had said that 14 venues would be used for the competition, six of which were to be new.