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13 June 2018, 06:57 | Anna Jefferson
US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup as Morocco lose out
For years, North America has looked at avenues to grow its game, and while some may argue that a 48-team competition will dilute the World Cup field, for CONCACAF and the rest of the World Cup it opens up a brand-new opportunity for teams that have previously been left at the alter.
FIFA's member associations voted 134 to 65, with one no-vote, Wednesday in favour of the joint North American bid by Canada, the USA and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup over that of Morocco at the FIFA Congress in Moscow.
Today's vote, which occurred a day before the start of the 2018 FIFA World CupTM in Russian Federation, also marks the first time three nations have been selected to co‐host a FIFA World CupTM and the first time the FIFA World CupTM will be played in North America in 32 years.
The regional bid proved more appealing this time and the North Americans even collected 11 votes from Africa. The U.S. will host 60 of the 80 matches, including the final, scheduled for MetLife Stadium outside New York City.
Also short travels between venues is attractive for Morocco against long-haul flights and cross-border travelling between three North American countries. The US, Mexico and Canada received 134 votes (67 percent) with the Morocco bid earning 65 votes.
The 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the US promises to be the biggest World Cup event ever held and it will be the first to feature an expanded 48-team field with a record 80 matches.
"To have a message coming from football that says actually Mexico, Canada and the United States together can organize the biggest sporting and social event together", Infantino said.
Their position was weakened by the expectation that four United States territories at the centre of a voting row will not take part. Both the United States and Canada failed to qualify for this year's World Cup. This will be the first time since 2002 that the World Cup will be held in multiple nations.
"We felt our message was very strong", said Montopoli. "Congratulations to everyone who worked hard on this bid - it's going to be a great tournament!"
US Soccer: "Hosting the 2026 Fifa World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport".
But bid chief Hicham el Amrani said he was confident the country's infrastructure "could deliver" and made play of the North African nation's position, nine miles from the southern tip of Spain - dubbing it a "European" World Cup. Canada narrowed its list to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton.
"We expect record profits for Federation Internationale de Football Association of (US)$11 billion", said Cordeiro, perhaps hitting the key button. 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.
Out of the 53 CAF-affiliated countries; nine voted for the joint bid - Benin Republic, Botswana, Cape Verde, Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
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