US, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup after seeing off the bid of Morocco in a FIFA ballot this morning.
The vote took place in Moscow at the conclusion of the 68th FIFA Congress, taking place on the eve of World Cup 2018 in Russia. The 2022 edition will be held in Qatar.
The joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States has been the front-runner from the moment a North American coalition was first mooted two years ago, and there have been spells when it has looked like the only credible candidate.
But Morocco, bidding for a fifth time, had closed the gap on ‘United 2026’ to the point that nobody in Moscow wanted to make a public prediction ahead of the vote at the FIFA Congress, where 207 member associations, minus the four bidding nations, cast their ballots.
The final vote however went 134 to 65 in favour of the US, Canada and Mexico bid.
The 2026 World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams in 16 groups of three and will consist of 80 games in total.
It is the fifth time Morocco has bid to host the tournament. The North African country claimed 33 per cent of the vote.
This was the first World Cup vote since 2010, when two hosts were named and afterwards investigators from the US and Switzerland unveiled corruption on an unprecedented scale.
“It’s a bit emotional for us today,” US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro told the FIFA Congress.
“Thank you so, so very much for this incredible honour. Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
“The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures. Football today is the only victor.
“And in that spirit we wish all Russian hosts and all the teams competing here the very best of luck.”