World's Biggest Sports Event Will Return to North America

Jose Verdugo
Junio 13, 2018

If we're spitballing, it's hard to imagine the United States being forced to qualify for a World Cup in which it's the predominant host. And given that the 2026 tournament will be the first to host 48 teams-16 more than traditionally, infrastructure was a crucial factor.

The FIFA Congress held its annual meeting the day before the start of the World Cup to vote on whether the US -led bid or the Morocco bid will get to host the soccer tournament. President Trump promised athletes would be able to enter the USA "without discrimination" ahead of the decision, per CNN. "The handsome game transcends borders and cultures". "Football today is the only victor". There was one abstention.

The announcement was confirmed at the FIFA Congress which took place in Moscow on Wednesday, on the eve of the start of the 2018 edition of the competition.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was believed to have strongly backed North America behind the scenes because the trio of countries involved supported him in 2016 when he took over after the corruption-tainted reign of Sepp Blatter. That includes Adidas AG, Dalian Wanda Group, and Coca-Cola Co.

A joint-bid from the US, Mexico, and Canada, dubbed "United 2026", defeated Morocco's proposal in a landslide vote in Russian Federation on Wednesday. All of the proposed stadiums exist already.

First, North America accelerated its efforts the past four months by sending the three co-chairmen - Cordeiro, Canada's Steven Reed and Mexico's Decio de Maria - on separate lobbying trips around the world.

President Donald Trump has interfered in the voting process, much to FIFA's chagrin. Morocco's bid, for example, received vocal support from France and a large contingent of Middle Eastern and North African nations.

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Due to the landscape, temperatures differ greatly and matches in Denver and Mexico City will be played at altitude. Competing against South Korea, Japan, Australia and Qatar, the US seemed like the obvious choice given its existing stadiums and geo-political standing.

The event has since been moved to November to avoid Qatar's blistering summer temperatures, bribery accusations abound, and potential human rights violations at the stadium sites have caused outrage from the global community. In the end it wasn't enough, and Americans fans can look forward to the return of soccer's greatest event in what can only be seen as a massive boost for the domestic game.

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The North American bid was in better shape to host the World Cup. The 3.6 million attendees remain a World Cup record, despite the fact that only 24 nations competed at the time.

Mexico has previously hosted two World Cups, in 1970 and 1986.

This was the first World Cup vote since 2010, when the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were awarded to Russian Federation and Qatar respectively.

Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa: "It's an opportunity to bring the world together and highlight how well things work between Canada, Mexico and the United States".

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