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North America will host the World Cup in 2026
13 June 2018, 11:16 | Anna Jefferson
N'golo Kante right in the Russia v France game in Saint Petersburg on 27
The announcement was confirmed at the FIFA Congress which took place in Moscow on Wednesday, on the eve of the start of the 2018 edition of the competition.
Of the 80 games, 60 will be played in the United States with 10 each in Canada and Mexico. In eight year's time, numerous young rising stars of the United States men's national team should be in their prime as it is expected to be the first World Cup with 48 teams.
It will come 32 years after the USA first hosted the 1994 World Cup, an event which kicked off the popularity of the sport in America. "And our history of hosting extremely successful worldwide 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 North American bid was in better shape to host the World Cup. Whether FIFA also extends this courtesy to Mexico and Canada - the latter a relative nonentity in worldwide soccer that has qualified for just one World Cup in 1986 - remains to be seen.
It's not yet clear whether the US, Canada and Mexico will all automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup or if they'll have to compete with other Concacaf countries for a spot.
With the breakdown of voting results made public, the United bid claimed 134 votes, with 64 giving their support to Morocco and one country voting for neither bid. Hasseltine said. "We want to make sure the legacy lives forever and lives long beyond the games' being here".
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set aside a simmering trade dispute with Washington to welcome the news and predict the 2026 World Cup would be a "great tournament".
Organizers had also anxious that the Trump administration's controversial travel ban targeting some Muslim nations could prevent some teams and fans from visiting during the tournament. Each team will play just two group-stage matches instead of the customary three.
Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa: "It's an opportunity to bring the world together and highlight how well things work between Canada, Mexico and the United States".
But compared to North America, Morocco's bid existed largely on paper - many stadiums and roads would have had to have been built and critics questioned how it would have coped with an expanded tournament. Years later, in the aftermath of a Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption scandal that resulted in numerous criminal indictments, the organisation introduced reforms and changed the process for choosing the World Cup host.
Mexican venues under consideration are Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City.
Canada would benefit the most from getting an automatic bid, considering it has not successfully qualified on its own since 1986.
Morocco Football Federation President Fouzi Lekjaa promotes his country's bid at the Fifa Congress in Moscow.
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Of the 16 host cities, 10 will be in the United States while the remainder will be split evenly between Canada and Mexico. Officials have already talked of staging three games, one in each of the three countries, to kick off the tournament.