Sepp Blatter to attend World Cup as personal guest of Vladimir Putin

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With the decision to hand the United Bid - comprised of the Canada, Mexico and United States football federations - the rights to the 2026 edition of the World Cup, it gives those in the western quadrant of the world something significant to look forward to for the future.

The North American countries won with 134 votes, or 67 percent, against an upstart campaign from Morocco, which garnered 65 votes, in the Wednesday morning vote in Moscow.

"Hosting a FIFA World Cup™ is an extraordinary honor and privilege", said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid.

"Football today is the only victor", said U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro.

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The officers, including from the 2022 World Cup host country Qatar, will rotate in and out of the 11 far-flung Russian cities where games will be held between June 14 and July 15. For the first time in history, FIFA's Member Associations were given the opportunity to vote on the host for the tournament. Whether FIFA also extends this courtesy to Mexico and Canada - the latter a relative nonentity in global soccer that has qualified for just one World Cup in 1986 - remains to be seen.

The US hosted the World Cup in 1994, while the tournament was held twice in Mexico (1970 and 1986).

In 2010, the USA was a finalist to host the 2020 World Cup but lost to Qatar in a vote that was later discredited - but not reversed - because of widespread corruption in FIFA's ranks.

Both bids made their final appeals to UEFA voters in Moscow on Tuesday, with Morocco and United expected to get a vast show of support from their respective confederations.

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Earlier, Mayor John Tory said this "soccer mad" city would be a great host, while council strongly backed being part of the bid.

"Each of the United Bid's 23 proposed stadiums are fully built, occupied, and operational, ensuring long-term use following the 2026 World Cup". Residents of host cities including Yekaterinburg, where a security fence cut off an apartment block from the main access road, have complained that security measures are disproportionately disruptive. "The 2026 World Cup is coming to Canada, the U.S. & Mexico!"

Allied with that unpredictability came an unpalatable presence at the heart of the United bid - U.S. President Donald Trump.

The wounds of 2018 may still sting for the US, but for today at least, the Yanks, El Tri and The Canucks have won in the biggest way possible. "The men's World Cup will take this country to a place it's never been before". The United Bid is expecting to make more than half that in ticket revenue alone.

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