USA, Canada and Mexico to host football World Cup 2026

Ronaldo, pop star Robbie Williams on stage to kick off World Cup opening ceremony

Ronaldo, pop star Robbie Williams on stage to kick off World Cup opening ceremony

The 2026 World Cup will look a whole lot different that previous iterations of the tournament, thanks to the fact that it will be hosted by three countries - the United States, Mexico and Canada - and expanded to 48 teams for the first time.

In a vote of more than 200 member nations of soccer's governing body in Moscow, the so-called United Bid beat out Morocco, 134-65.

The announcement was confirmed at the FIFA Congress which took place in Moscow on Wednesday, on the eve of the start of the 2018 edition of the competition.

The United States, Mexico and Canada will host soccer's biggest event in 2026. The 2026 tournament will be the first hosted by multiple countries since the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

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.

Among the 22 other host city finalists are Washington and New York/New Jersey, both of which hosted matches in the 1994 World Cup, the last held in North America.

The move is significant for both the United States and Canada, with each team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, which gets underway on Thursday. The U.S. will join France, Germany, Brazil, and Italy as nations to host the cup twice, while this will be a record third time for Mexico.

North American soccer fans have something to look forward to beyond Thursday's kickoff of the World Cup in Russian Federation.


Regardless of the political disputes, the joint proposal envisages the tournament's coming to 16 cities across the three countries, the largest for any World Cup, with likely three cities each in Mexico and Canada and 10 in the United States.

In making its case to voting members, the North American bid accentuated the quantity and quality of available stadiums, experience in staging major events and the infrastructure necessary to transport and house tens of thousands of visiting fans. In all likelihood, 11 of the 17 proposed United States sites will make the cut.

The Canadian cities are Edmonton, Alberta; Montreal; and Toronto; and Mexico's are Guadalajara; Mexico City; and Monterrey. The only two official bids came from the U.S. -Canada-Mexico of North America, and Morocco of Africa. 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.

The new format would mean 16 groups of three teams.

With its fifth attempt to host, Morocco was hoping to be the second African country to host this far-reaching tournament.

Canada would benefit the most from getting an automatic bid, considering it has not successfully qualified on its own since 1986.

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

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