World soccer’s governing body, FIFA, selected Canada, Mexico and the United States to host the 2026 World Cup.
On Wednesday, FIFA member countries voted 134-65 for the three nations over the other candidate, Morocco. The vote marks the first time that FIFA has accepted a three-nation bid for the soccer championship.
The public vote took place in Moscow, where the 2018 soccer championship begins on Thursday. Football is known as soccer in the United States.
The North American bid had to overcome concerns about the effects of policies of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. One such policy was a ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries for security reasons.
Cameroon’s representative to FIFA, Kevin Njomo, said the three-nation bid “was strong and if it was just the United States…Morocco would have beaten them.”
He added, “People have a soft spot for Mexico, especially looking at Mexico as a little bit under-developed and giving them a chance. Canada is a good tourist destination.”
The 2026 World Cup will also be the first to include 48 teams. The US proposed hosting 60 out of the 80 games in 2026. Canada and Mexico would then host ten games each.
FIFA will have to decide how the games are divided up and which cities will be selected. FIFA will also decide on whether all three countries are guaranteed a place at the tournament. Both the United States and Canada failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup.
North American officials have promised to deliver $14 billion in revenue from the event. Preparation for the World Cup will not require major construction work because the 16 stadiums where matches will be played already exist.
Canada will host men’s World Cup matches for the first time. Mexico last held the event in 1986, while the U.S. held the World Cup in 1994.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Jonathan Evans wrote this story based on reports from the Associated Press and VOA News. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in This Story
bid – n. an attempt to win, get, or do something
qualify – v. to have the right to do, have, or be a part of something
revenue – n. money that is made by or paid to a business or an organization
tourist – n. a person who travels to a place for pleasure