The World Cup 2018 in Russia may be about to start, but the US, Canada and Mexico will be looking eight years ahead having won the bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
The biggest sporting event in the world will return to North America for the first time since 1994, after it won 134 votes to Morocco’s 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13, 2018.
The proposal included the US hosting 60 matches out of 80, with Canada and Mexico having ten fixtures apiece.
‘Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026,’ Carlos Cordiero, president of the US Soccer Federation told Congress.
‘Football today is the only winner.’
The US, Canada and Mexico’s ‘United’ proposal for the 2026 World Cup beat Morocco’s bid
Decio de Maria, President of Mexico Football Federation and Co-Chair of the United Bid, said: ‘We are grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA’s new vision for the future of football.
‘We will use this platform to unite the world around football and help create a new and sustainable blueprint for the future of FIFA World Cups.’
The winning bid will mean Canada will host the men’s World Cup for the very first time, while Mexico will host for it for a record third time.
It also means the 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament to be hosted by more than two nations.
Here is all you need to know about the 2026 World Cup including the North American bid, how many teams there will be and where the final will take place.
2026 World Cup North American Bid
The joint bid promised to deliver $14 billion (£10.5bn) in revenue and $11 billion (£8.6bn) in profit for FIFA.
North America’s bid included 16 host cities, ten of which would be in the US, and three each for Mexico and Canada.
PREVIOUS WORLD CUP HOST NATIONS
1930 – Uruguay
1934 – Italy
1938 – France
1942 – Cancelled due to WWII
1946 – Cancelled due to WWII
1950 – Brazil
1954 – Switzerland
1958 – Sweden
1962 – Chile
1966 – England
1970 – Mexico
1974 – West Germany
1978 – Argentina
1982 – Spain
1986 – Mexico
1990 – Italy
1994 – United States
1998 – France
2002 – South Korea/Japan
2006 – Germany
2010 – South Africa
2014 – Brazil
2018 – Russia
2022 – Qatar
2026 – Canada/ Mexico/ United States
In total, the proposal included 23 stadia, all of which the US Soccer Federation says, are ‘fully built, occupied and operational’.
Eighty matches will be played during the 2026 World Cup and the US proposed to host 60 of them, while Mexico and Canada will host ten each.
The US will host every match from the quarter-finals onwards.
The joint bid appeared to offer a smoother, less risky World Cup than the one of its rival, Morocco.
While North America’s stadia were all already built, Morocco would have had to spend $16 (£12bn) billion on building or renovating all of its 14 proposed venues.
Morocco’s proposal also stated its combined tickets and hospitality revenue would be $1.07 billion compared to the North American projection of $2 billion additional income.
How many teams will play in the 2026 World Cup?
The 2026 World Cup was originally meant to be the first World Cup to play in a 48-team format.
However, in April 2018, the plans for the 48-team World Cup were moved forward by four years to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In January 2017, the original decision was made to expand the teams from 32 to 48 in 2026 World Cup.
While FIFA haven’t commented on the matter yet, it is expected that all three host nations will be granted automatic qualifications into the 2026 tournament.
Where will the 2026 World Cup Final be?
As part of the proposal, the MetLife Stadium just outside New York was pitched as the venue for the 2026 World Cup Final.
The 85,000-capacity stadium is currently home to the New York Giants and New York Jets of the NFL.