The combined North American bid of the United States, Mexico and Canada was awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, moving Baltimore one step closer toward possibly hosting a match in the quadrennial soccer competition.
It will be decided at FIFA Congress in June 2019 whether the three host nations all receive automatic qualification for the tournament.
In an agreement announced when the bid launched previous year, the United States will stage 60 of the 80 matches, including all from the quarterfinals on, while Mexico and Canada will get 10 apiece.
It will mark the first time three countries have shared the planet's most popular sporting event. The 2026 World Cup will be the fourth men's World Cup hosted in North America, with Mexico hosting it in 1970 and 1986 and the United States previously hosting it in 1994.
From the quarter-finals onwards all of the games will be hosted by the U.S. and the final is set to be played at the 82,500-capacity MetLife Stadium in NY.
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This will be the first time since 2002 that the World Cup will be held in multiple nations. Mexico last missed the tournament in 1990, while Canada hasn't qualified for the World Cup since making their lone appearance in 1986. Besides the 2026 World Cup, the US Soccer Federation is tentatively planning to bid for the 2027 Women's World Cup and Los Angeles is set to host the 2028 Olympic Games.
Regardless of the political disputes, the joint proposal envisages the tournament's coming to 16 cities across the three countries, the largest for any World Cup, with likely three cities each in Mexico and Canada and 10 in the United States.
The so-called united bid convincingly beat another put forward by Morocco, receiving 135 of 206 votes against 65 for the North African country.
"We can focus on the game".
Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City are up for consideration in Mexico, while Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton are the Canadian cities that have been proposed.
FIFA Votes To Host 2026 World Cup In North America
The United bid made a presentation to UEFA officials on Tuesday, with CSA president Steve Reed handling the Canadian portion. Seven former World Cup winners will be competing: Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay , France, England and Spain.
Despite its fifth failure, Morocco has vowed to continue its campaign to host the World Cup.
It's unclear at the moment how travel will shake out and how far teams will have to travel for matches.
USA, Canada and Mexico had been considered favourites throughout the bidding process, despite some suggesting the controversial politics of American president Donald Trump could help Morocco. Years later, in the aftermath of a Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption scandal that resulted in numerous criminal indictments, the organisation introduced reforms and changed the process for choosing the World Cup host.
Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from NY, said: "While the official name of the bid is United 2026, the three potential host nations are right now anything but united".
Starting in 2026, there will be 16 groups of three teams, with the top two teams in the group advancing into the expanded round-of-32 knockout stages.
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Ruben Loftus-Cheek will challenge for a starting place but Alli is expected to begin against Tunisia in Volgograd next Monday. Recalling his outing for Spurs against Real Madrid in the Champions League, singling out his height and ability to play.
Fifa, in consultation with the local organising committee, will make the final venue decisions.