2026 World Cup awarded to joint bid from US, Canada and Mexico
The 2026 World Cup has been awarded to the United States, Canada and Mexico following a vote at FIFA’s annual congress in Moscow.
The so-called ‘United’ bid defeated Morocco to become the first to land the right to stage the expanded 48-team tournament.
Only the second World Cup to be held in North America and the first since 1994, the 2026 edition promises to be the most lucrative ever.
Wednesday’s vote was the first for a host for football’s flagship event since Russia and Qatar were controversially awarded the next two tournaments seven-and-a-half years ago.
That discredited decision was the catalyst for FIFA becoming engulfed by the biggest corruption scandal in sporting history.
Following accusations of bribery and vote-swapping during the 2018 and 2022 bidding process, the governing body stripped its executive committee – since rebranded as its council – of the right to choose World Cup hosts.
It instead empowered its member associations with that duty, a decision that ultimately paid off when they selected by far the strongest of the two bids.
A Morocco victory would have been a devastating blow to FIFA’s bid to restore its reputation, which was left in tatters following the wave of arrests and convictions of some of its most senior officials three years ago.
Belfast Telegraph Digital