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 FIFA World Cup, marking the first time that worldwide soccer's marquee event will touch down on Canadian soil.
Federation Internationale de Football Association member delegations, voting Wednesday during their 68 Congress in Moscow, chose the so-called United Bid over a rival proposal from Morocco.
The U.S., Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup.
Chief among those is US President Donald Trump, whose "America First" approach might score well with his electoral base but may have made the United bid's task harder than it could ever have imagined.
The 2026 World Cup will also be the first hosted jointly by three countries. The MetLife Stadium in New York City will host the prestigious World Cup final.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be glad to host everyone in Moscow, when asked if he would invite high-ranking USA officials.
Morocco have now failed with five bids to hold the World Cup and are unlikely now to have the financial means to put together another bid for the foreseeable future. Hosting rights for previous World Cups had been awarded by what was then a 24-person FIFA Executive Committee. But in the end, it was a non-factor, as the "United Bid" earned more than double the votes of Morocco.
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The World Cup remains the second-biggest global sporting event after the Olympic Games and offers a ratings bonanza for broadcasters around the world. 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 Switzerland-based organization reports its revenue in four-year cycles, and most recently claimed $5.7 billion for the cycle culminating in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Every one of FIFA's 200-plus members holds a single vote, and regions tend to vote in blocks.
As it stands now, 60 games will be played in the United States, with Mexico and Canada hosting 10 each.
It would likely open the door to Canada finally returning to the men's world stage - a widely expected scenario as co-host that has yet to be officially confirmed. The plan features three matches on opening day in three countries for the first time.
Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City are up for consideration in Mexico, while Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton are the Canadian cities that have been proposed.
The American candidate cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russian Federation.