Canada, US & Mexico to host 2026 World Cup

13 Jun 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

The United States, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup after the joint bid secured the hosting rights at the expense of rival proposal, Morocco.

The United 2026 bid was selected by FIFA member nations, securing 134 votes to 65 in an election held during the FIFA Congress in Moscow, Russia.

The US, which will take the lead role for the tournament with 60 of the 80 matches, will stage the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1994.

Mexico has previously hosted the event twice, in 1970 and 1986, and will share the 20 remaining games with Canada which has never hosted the men’s World Cup, but did stage the Women’s World Cup in 2015.

The 2026 tournament will be the biggest FIFA World Cup ever held - with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days. Of the 16 host cities, 10 will be in the United States while the remainder will be split evenly between Canada and Mexico.

The 'United' World Cup will generate $14bn (£10.3bn) in revenue and make an $11bn (£8.1bn) profit for FIFA, according to US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro.

Of the 211 FIFA member nations, 200 cast a vote. Canada, Mexico, Morocco and the US were exempt, while Ghana was absent after the country's government said it had disbanded its football association amid allegations of corruption.

Three US territories - Guam, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico - were the other member nations to not vote.

FIFA’s Bid Evaluation Task Force scored Morocco 2026 at 275 out of 500 in its report issued earlier this month, for an average of 2.7 out of five. It scored its highest mark of 4.6 out of five for the media and marketing section, and a low of 2.1 for transport plans.

United 2026 registered an overall score of 402 out of 500 for an average mark of four out of five. The Americas bid secured a perfect score of five for its ticketing and hospitality plans, with 4.9 for media and marketing. Its lowest score of two came for organisational costs.

United 2026 has proposed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as the host venue for the final of the tournament. The semi-finals will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

At present, the proposed US 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 Canadian cities are Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto; while Mexico’s are Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey.

Following the announcement, Morocco FA president Fouzi Lekjaa said: "I wish to congratulate FIFA for the conduct of this process and congratulate the president for what he has done in order to move things towards more transparency and more inclusion.

"I would like to reaffirm the determination of my country to continue to work for football and realise one day our dream to host the World Cup in Morocco."

The World Cup has only been staged in Africa on one previous occasion, when South Africa played host in 2010, with Morocco unsuccessfully bidding to host the 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, and now the 2026 tournaments.

In a statement, Carlos Cordeiro, president of US Soccer and co-chair of the United Bid, concluded: "Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport.

"We are humbled by the trust our colleagues in the FIFA family have put in our bid, strengthened by the unity between our three countries and the Concacaf region and excited by the opportunity we have to put football on a new and sustainable path for generations to come."