FIFA Chooses North America over Morocco for 2026 World Cup
By a 2-1 margin FIFA members awarded to 2026 World Cup to a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
The U.S.-led bid received 134 votes. Morocco picked up 65.
The North American team established itself as the frontrunner early on, largely due to the number of modern, established stadiums and well-developed transport links that already exist in the United States. The North American contingent also promised FIFA a record profit of $11 billion.
Morocco’s bid existed largely on paper. The country waited until final day of bidding in 2017 to submit its application. Many stadiums will need to be built and critics questioned how it would cope with a tournament that will be expanded to 48 teams in 2026.
FIFA inspectors classified the north African nation’s stadiums, accommodation and transport as “high risk”, awarding it just 2.7 out of five, with red flags raised over several critical aspects of the bid.
A FIFA taskforce warned last month “the amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated”.
Wednesday’s decision marks the fifth time Morocco has bid and failed to win the opportunity to host the World Cup.
The soccer showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994. Mexico has hosted the event twice – the first time in 1970 – and again in 1986. Canada staged the Women’s World Cup in 2015.
The United States lost out to Qatar in 2022 in a vote now tarnished by corruption allegations that spelled the beginning of the end of the once all-powerful FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
It prompted a change in the rules. Whereas previously the 24 members of the FIFA executive committee used to determine World Cup races, the host will now be decided by a vote of individual FIFA member nations.
The U.S. proposed staging 60 out of the 80 games in 2026, when 16 teams will be added to the finals, leaving Canada and Mexico with ten fixtures each.
The 2026 World Cup final will take place at MetLife Stadium near New York City.