USA, Canada and Mexico to host football World Cup 2026

Robbie Williams is excited to be performing at the World Cup opening ceremony

The joint North American bid received 134 of the 203 votes, while Morocco polled 65 in the ballot at a FIFA Congress held in Moscow on the eve of the 2018 World Cup.

"If we can land the World Cup in Denver, Colorado, that's a big deal", he said.

The expanded 2026 men's event, featuring 48 teams for the first time, will be played in 16 different cities - 10 in the USA, plus three sites in both Canada and Mexico. The current format has 32 teams, split into eight groups of four, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the round-of-16 knockout stage.

The World Cup is coming back to America.

"They have made a decision among themselves but ultimately it will be up to FIFA to decide", FIFA President Gianni Infantino told reporters Wednesday.

Mexico has previously hosted two World Cups, in 1970 and 1986.

The 48-team format will increase the number of games from 64 to 80 over 34 days. Mexico and Canada will each host 10 games, while America will get 60.

The North American bid beat competition from Morocco, which was hoping to become just the second African country to host soccer's biggest worldwide tournament. An impressive 3.6m attended across the 52 matches, a figure that still stands. The only other time multiple countries shared the World Cup was 2002, when Japan and South Korea were given passes into the competition. Morocco did not have a single one. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a proposed semifinal site, as is AT&T Stadium outside of Dallas. "And our history of hosting extremely successful global soccer games and our enthusiastic fan base gives us confidence that - if selected - Denver and the region would be excited to see the World Cup take place at the Denver Broncos' stadium".

The three countries sprawl over a vast area, making logistics tricky and ensuring that air travel is critical to the travel plans of teams and fans alike.

There are four time zones across the United States, which means there are likely to be four separate kick-off times. After the allegations of corruption, including around that voting, which later roiled Federation Internationale de Football Association and saw president Sepp Blatter eventually step down, the organization was hoping today's selection would be less contentious.

There had been concerns that political factors, such as the United States' waning popularity overseas and what was perceived as an interfering tweet about the bid from President Donald Trump, would count against it. But even if he secures a second term, he will not be in office by 2026. It follows controversy over the last World Cup vote in 2010, which handed the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russian Federation and Qatar, respectively, despite both bids' being weaker on paper than their rivals. Stadiums, accommodation and transport were all deemed "high risk" but Morocco said it had plans to spend up to $16 billion to shore up its deficits ahead of the tournament.



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