Breaking News

World Cup 2026 goes to U.S., Mexico, Canada despite frayed ties

SportsJun 13, 2018 11:32AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. Officials celebrate after the announcement, that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada, during the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow

By Simon Evans and Mitch Phillips

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA's Congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to support the joint bid over Morocco, despite reluctance in some countries to choose North America while President Donald Trump was in office and souring U.S. relations with its neighbors.

Trump, who has called for a wall to be built on the U.S. southern border with Mexico to stem illegal immigration and just days ago attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on trade issues, praised the outcome as the result of "a great deal of hard work" on his Twitter feed.

Under Trump, relations between the United States, Canada and Mexico have plumbed new lows thanks to a dispute over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a $1.1 trillion trade pact that ties the three countries' economies together.

The North Americans pledged their tournament would generate an $11 billion profit, which would be a financial shot in the arm for soccer's world governing body FIFA which has been rocked by a corruption and bribery scandal in the last three years that ensnared top officials. Morocco, which has now failed in five bids to host the World Cup, said theirs would make $5 billion.

Although it will be the first World Cup to be hosted by three nations, the vast majority of matches will be held in the Unites States. As part of the bid, Trump pledged that those traveling to the United States for the tournament would not be subject to stringent visa restrictions.

Even if Trump were to be elected for a second four-year term in 2020 he would not be president when the World Cup kicks off in 2026.

Trump had earlier warned that countries voting against the North American bid would suffer consequences. The president has regularly assailed world leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron for "ripping" America off over trade.

On Twitter Trudeau said: "Good news this morning: The 2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to Canada, the US and Mexico. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard on this bid – it’s going to be a great tournament!"

The United States, Canada and Mexico were expected to qualify automatically for the tournament as has been the tradition for all World Cup host nations.

After the bid some observers expressed hope that the "NAFTA World Cup" would rebuild cooperation between the three countries. Trump will be gone from office when the tournament does take place.

"See? Always better when we work together," Roberta Jacobson, ambassador to Mexico until May, wrote on her Twitter feed.

The North American bid collected 134 votes to the 65 for Morocco. One Congress member voted for "neither bid."

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted “We did it!”

The 2026 finals will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team event which begins in Russia on Thursday.

Both bids were given a last chance to make their case with 15 minute presentations in front of the Congress at the Moscow Expocentre.

Of the 80 games, 60 will be held in the United States with 10 each in Canada and Mexico. The final will be played at MetLife (NYSE:MET) Stadium in New Jersey, home to the National Football League's New York Giants and New York Jets.

Ten of the eventual 16 chosen venues for the tournament will be in the United States with Mexico and Canada having three venues each.

The U.S previously hosted the World Cup in 1994 while Mexico staged it in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never staged a men's World Cup but it did hold the women's tournament in 2015.

A U.S. bid lost out in the vote eight years ago for the 2022 World Cup, which was handed to Qatar, and U.S Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordiero said it had been a long road to get the tournament back to the country.

"It was overwhelmingly emotional for everyone, not just for myself. A lot of very hard work and effort has gone into this campaign... You know, we ran and lost eight years ago. We appreciated that as much as you can do, you are not guaranteed victory," he said.

The Moroccan bid had expected a closer result and some of their backers felt they had been let down by potential allies.

"Of course, it’s really sad because we were counting on our friends, the countries that are close to us, that are long-time friends. And today they betrayed us," Moroccan Olympic champion runner Hicham El Guerrouj, who was active with the bid team, told Reuters.

The last time FIFA voted on World Cup hosting rights was in 2010, the decision then resting with the old executive committee which chose Russia to host the 2018 finals and Qatar for 2022.

Several members of that committee were later banned from the sport after they were caught up in the corruption scandal that engulfed world football's governing body in 2015.

Under FIFA's new system for choosing the host, all eligible football federations who attend Congress were given a vote.

The result has been a jet-setting campaign from both bids, whose team members have traveled the globe in an attempt to win over the worldwide electorate.

Cordeiro has said his bid would generate $14 billion in revenue and make an $11 billion profit for FIFA. The bid also expects record ticket and hospitality revenue.

The result is a boost for FIFA president Gianni Infantino who, while he maintained neutrality during the campaign, was known to be keen to see the first expanded Word Cup being held in North America.

World Cup 2026 goes to U.S., Mexico, Canada despite frayed ties

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email