The 2026 World Cup will be played in North America

Rex Christensen
June 13, 2018

The 2026 World Cup is officially coming to the United States, Mexico and Canada, and a joint statement Wednesday indicates Denver will push to host matches in the quadrennial global soccer tournament.

The North American countries won with 134 votes, or 67 percent, against an upstart campaign from Morocco, which garnered 65 votes, in the Wednesday morning vote in Moscow.

The United 2026 bid was selected today by FIFA federations at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.

The United States will host 60 out of 80 games, with the remaining 20 split evenly between Mexico and Canada.

A statement released by the Colorado Rapids, the Denver Sports Commission and the Stadium Management Company said Denver is among approximately 23 cities in consideration to host World Cup games eight years from now.

Since the USA first hosted the World Cup in 1994 (Denver wasn't one of the host cities), it has been in France, South Korea and Japan (joint-bid), Germany, South Africa and Brazil, with the Russia World Cup beginning on Thursday.

The 1994 World Cup in the United States set an attendance record that still stands, with almost 3.6 million spectators for only 52 matches.

Mexico has twice hosted the World Cup, in 1970 and 1986.

The 2026 soccer tournament, he said, will be the first World Cup to expand from 32 teams to 48 teams.

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Trump had earlier warned that any countries voting against the North American bid would suffer consequences in trade deals.

Qatar will host the tournament in 2022.

With only three teams in each group and each team guaranteed only two games, there is a greater opportunity for teams to collude with each other in the final group-stage matches to secure passage to the knockout round.

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.

The Moroccans were seeking to bring the World Cup to northern Africa for the first time. 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. Host nations have always been granted automatic berths into the tournament, including in the lone previous World Cup that was co-hosted by multiple countries (2002; Japan and South Korea). Another three are cities that will have expansion teams coming into MLS. It will also be the first tournament to be hosted by three countries, Goal reported.

Canada has not qualified since 1986, which is the last time the United States of America did not qualify, before 2018.

Fifa, in consultation with the local organising committee, will make the final venue decisions.

But the result was a bitter blow for Morocco after a fifth failed bid.

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