At a time where the sport of soccer is immensely growing among the American and Canadian public, the 2026 FIFA World Cup was awarded to the United bid between the United States, Canada and Mexico a day before the inception of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. All three countries sustain growing grassroots to professional structure that will only become even more inflated with hopes and dreams in the next eight years leading into the 2026 World Cup. Since the U.S. first hosted the 1994 World Cup, the globe has laid witness to the tournament in France, South Korea, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Brazil and this year Russia. The U.S. will now join the likes of France, Germany, Brazil and Italy as the only nations to host the cup twice while Mexico will play host to the cup for a record third time. It is an incredible time for soccer in Canada with the evolution of the Canadian Premier League in 2019, the growing interest and competitive flare in the U.S. with the MLS and of course the constant high level of play in Mexico’s Liga MX. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the 2026 United Bid and its process.
1. The 2026 United bid won the voting process just a day before the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The early morning news revealed that Canada, the United States, and Mexico won 134 votes while Morocco only earned 65. A wonderful triumph for the North American unity.
2. The World Cup bids for Russia 2018 and Qatar 2021 were so tarnished with corruption allegations, FIFA decided to clean the voting process up in order make the bidding process fair. For the first time ever FIFA’s entire membership voted to award a bidding country their host rights.
3. The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament responsible for hosting an expanded format. The 2026 World Cup will see 48 teams compete for international glory, rather than the traditional 32.
4. Morocco was hailed as one of the strongest contenders in the bidding process. The country formally hosted the 2013 and 2014 FIFA Club World Cups and the 2018 African Nations Championships.
5. Another reason for Morocco’s previous favouritism to win the bid was because of the large backing of support from the African nations. Not since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa has the world seen another African country host the prestigious tournament.
6. However, compared to the North American market – who sport 17 well-structured stadiums up to FIFA standards – Morocco’s 14 stadiums would have needed enormous renovations to be suitable to host the World Cup. Perhaps this is one of the biggest reasons why they fell short.
7. Morocco would have sported an estimated $16 billion price tag for gearing up for the 2026 World Cup if they were granted the responsibility.
8. The hope for the United bid is that we will see all the involved countries automatically qualify. However, FIFA has expressed that a further voting process will take place for the automatic qualification of three countries under one hosting bracket.
9. The 2026 United bid will see the U.S. host 60 matches while Canada and Mexico each host 10 matches. The three Canadian cities selected for the task are Montreal, Edmonton, and Toronto although FIFA may have the final call.
According to several media outlets, the United bid is projected to not only the most successful World Cup ever but the most lucrative. These reports suggest that the United bid could bring in an estimated $11 billion revenue for FIFA once all is said and done.