In a historic vote held in Moscow on Wednesday, the "United Bid" of Canada, Mexico and the United States beat out Morocco to win the right to co-host the 2026 FIFAWorld Cup, marking the first time that worldwide soccer's marquee event will touch down on Canadian soil.
The North American countries won with 134 votes, or 67 percent, against an upstart campaign from Morocco, which garnered 65 votes, in the Wednesday morning vote in Moscow.
"Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup in history".
Under the current blueprint, the US would host the lion's share of games with 60, compared to 10 each for Canada (with Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto serving as host cities) and Mexico.
2018 will be the 21st Fifa World Cup, 88 years after the inaugural tournament in Uruguay (1930) and for the first time in Russian Federation.
One has to think all three will receive an automatic pass into the tournament.
That, along with the promise of major revenues from North American sponsors and television networks, was appealing to Federation Internationale de Football Association, an organization that has been beset by global corruption scandals, concerns over exorbitant costs related to previous tournaments, and allegations of widespread labor and human rights abuses around the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The two rivals bids each got 15 minutes to make one last pitch Wednesday, with the North American bid going first.
The United Bid was endorsed by David Beckham and there will be 16 host cities across North America with the USA holding ten of the 16, while Mexico and Canada will have three each. The 2026 tournament will be the first hosted by multiple countries since the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
United States: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.
FIFA's hosting selection process was revamped in the wake of recent scandals enveloping the world governing body of soccer. He was born in Ghana in a refugee camp.
"Today I'm 17 years old and I play for the (Canadian) men's national team". Mexico has played in every World Cup since 1990. "If given the opportunity, I know they will welcome you", he added. But a question that a lot of Indian fans ask is why a nation with a population of over a billion people can't qualify for a tournament that the world is watching?
Morocco has been deemed "high risk" in the above factors - including transport, accommodations and stadiums - leading the United States to outscore them ahead of the June 13 bid.
The key number is 104 but there is also the weird and unprecedented scenario where both bids get rejected.
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".
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