It is the the biggest and most watched sporting event in the world. As the FIFA World Cup is set to get underway in Moscow, FIFA officials have just announced that a joint bid for the 2026 event has been awarded to Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
They were up against a bid from Morrocco, which argued that as an African country where the sport is enthusiastically played and supported. However, security risks were believed by many to have played a role in the final FIFA decision.
In the end, 134 of the 200 votes (67 %) opted for the joint bid.
Canada has never hosted the men’s World Cup, but did host the 2015 Women’s Cup.
Biggest World cup ever
The 2026 event will see an expansion to 48 teams from the current 32 with 80 matches played over 32 days.
The US will host the majority of games while Canada and Mexico will each host ten with the major centres of Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal as likely venues.
The United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, and Mexico has staged the event twice before, in 1970 and 1986. It was at the 1986 event that Canada’s men’s team made its only World Cup appearance, but lost all three games and was eliminated in the first round.
As co-host Canada would normally be expected to get an automatic qualification to play, but FIFA ruled earlier that in case of a “joint-hosting”, automatic qualification for host countries would be subject to another separate vote later.