The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA's congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid for the tournament and leave Morocco to miss out for the fifth time.
The United 2026 bid saw off surprisingly stiff competition from Morocco, the only other candidate, as delegates from across the world voted 134-65 in favour of the North American bid at FIFA's 68th Congress in Moscow.
Morocco, which has now lost five bid campaigns, was classy in defeat - congratulating the North American winners.
In March, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he was not willing to write a "blank cheque" to have Vancouver host soccer matches for the FIFA World Cup in 2026. "Football today is the only victor".
Every one of FIFA's 200-plus members holds a single vote, and regions tend to vote in blocks.
That, along with the promise of major revenues from North American sponsors and television networks, was appealing to Federation Internationale de Football Association, an organization that has been beset by global corruption scandals, concerns over exorbitant costs related to previous tournaments, and allegations of widespread labor and human rights abuses around the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The United States, which hosted the 1994 World Cup, is to host 60 of the 80 matches, including those in the knockout phase, while Canada and Mexico will get just 10 group-stage matches each.
The 1994 World Cup, the only one played in the USA, was the most financially successful and best-attended tournament in history.
"We may turn a blind eye to some petty offenses and to the nuances of our legislation", he said.More news: Neymar goal caps impressive Brazil win over feisty Austria
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The head of World Cup security, Alexei Lavrishchev, said last week that his control center stood ready against threats, but allowed for looser enforcement of small offenses than usual due to the number of foreign fans expected in Russian Federation.
The World Cup kicks off in Moscow on Thursday.
Canada, meanwhile, did not even make it that far, finishing third behind Mexico and Honduras in the fourth round.
With the successful bid, the men's World Cup will be coming to Canada for the first time.
Listed below are the countries that placed votes for Morocco and North America.
Canada's only appearance at the World Cup came in 1986 when it loss all three of its games and crashed out in the first round.
"We believe strongly that this decision will be made on its merits", Cordeiro, the bid leader, told reporters.