June 18, 2018

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup

13 June 2018, 07:45 | Joan Schultz

Russia will be one the least-fancied World Cup hosts in history Credit Russia Getty Images

Russia will be one the least-fancied World Cup hosts in history
Russia Getty Images

"We'll get the team performing and we'll qualify if we have to", John Herdman told CTV's Your Morning Wednesday, just about an hour after the announcement that the joint bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States had beaten Morocco to host the 48-team tournament.

It is limited to 15 minutes, with bidding rival Morocco to follow at the Moscow Expocentre.

"We are grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA's new vision for the future of football", said Decio de Maria, President of Mexico Football Federation and Co-Chair of the United Bid. "It's not only about our sport and sports, it's building a nation, it's a nation-builder".

Eight years ago, the US was in a similar position, when it bid for the 2022 tournament.

Typically, the host nation gets an automatic berth in the World Cup.

The 2026 tournament will be the first to feature 48 teams after Federation Internationale de Football Association approved expansion from the traditional field of 32 competitors.

"Arrowhead is a bucket list destination for fans across all sports, and we are confident it would be a tremendous environment for the world's best soccer teams to showcase their talent", Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement in March, when Kansas City was added to the short list of potential USA host sites.

"This might take a few years to sink in", said Sportsnet soccer commentator James Sharman, who was in Moscow and witnessed the vote take place.

It will mark the first time three countries have shared the planet's most popular sporting event.

Traditionally, the opening day has featured one game involving the tournament host.

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Brazil's Pele is the only player to win three World Cups: in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

The United bid made a presentation to UEFA officials on Tuesday, with CSA president Steve Reed handling the Canadian portion. "We appreciated that as much as you can do, you are not guaranteed victory", he said.

Both bidders will be afforded 15 minutes each for final presentations to Congress, starting with the United bid, before the electronic voting opens with a simple 50 percent majority needed for a victor to be declared.

North America is optimistically promising to deliver $14 billion in revenue helped, while the tournament won't require major construction work required on the 16 planned stadiums, all of which already exist.

Hard numbers aside, it is a vote with Gibraltar having the same say as China.

But the run-up to the vote has been an absorbing affair which reached a new high two months ago when United Sates President Donald Trump issued a thinly-veiled threat to countries that do not support the North Americans.

Montopoli, speaking for the Canadian portion of the bid, said only that they had the government guarantees they had required.

The U.S. has submitted 17 cities to host matches, but that list will be narrowed down to 10 by 2021.

Starting in 2026, there will be 16 groups of three teams, with the top two teams in the group advancing into the expanded round-of-32 knockout stages.

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