The United States, Canada and Mexico were named hosts of the 2026 World Cup after a vote by FIFA congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
Here FP looks at the bid, which saw off the challenge of Morocco.
Venues and stadia
The United bid has everything in place, with 16 host cities – from Boston and New York in the east, to Los Angeles in the west, and Guadalajara and Mexico City in the south to Edmonton in the north – and existing stadia. The largest is AT&T Stadium in Dallas, which has a 92,000 capacity. Only 20 of the slated 80 matches will take place outside the USA, with 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico. All matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be in the USA.
The United bid is across the vast North America and in three countries. There are four time zones in the mainland USA and kick-off times will likely be less favourable for the lucrative European and Asian broadcasting markets than had Morocco been chosen. The weather and climate may vary across the three countries, with games in Denver and Mexico City at altitude.
The United bid had previously experienced success and failure in the bidding process, even competing against each other. Mexico was chosen ahead of the USA and Canada to host the 1986 tournament. That was Canada’s sole prior bid, while Mexico lost out to Argentina in 1978 and a joint South Korea-Japan tournament in 2002. The USA went on to host the 1994 tournament, but lost out to Qatar in bidding for 2022.
Donald Trump’s presidency and policies on immigration, in particular, make the choice of United 2026 a sensitive one. It is an unlikely alliance, especially with Mexico, after Trump’s persistent promise of a wall between the southern USA and the central American country. Trump’s tweeted threat on those who did not back the United bid could just be the beginning of his interest in the tournament. Although even if he earns a second term in office, Trump will be a past president by the time of kick-off.
Former England captain David Beckham was among the celebrity backers of the United bid. The Football Association voted for the joint bid, as did 134 of the 203 voting nations at the FIFA congress in Moscow. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all voted for United 2026, too.
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