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United [Canada, Mexico, USA] Win Hosting Right for 2026 FIFA World Cup

The joint bid comprising the United States, Canada and Mexico has on Wednesday June 13, 2018 secured hosting rights to the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

The United 2026 bid prevailed 134 votes to 65 in an election to determine the destination of the national team football tournament held during the Fifa Congress in Moscow, Russia. United 2026 defeated a rival bid from Morocco for the hosting rights.

The US, which will take the lead role for the tournament with 60 of the 80 matches, will stage the World Cup for the first time since 1994. Mexico – a two-time host, having held the competition in 1970 and 1986 – will share the 20 remaining games with Canada which, despite never having hosted the men’s World Cup, staged the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Heading the vote, Fifa’s Bid Evaluation Task Force spelled out the “high risk” posed by Morocco’s plans for the tournament when compared to the vision of United 2026. Morocco 2026 registered a total score of 275 out of 500 in the report issued earlier this month, for an average of 2.7 out of five. It scored its highest mark of 4.6 out of five for the media and marketing section, and a low of 2.1 for transport plans.

The Task Force issued evaluations of high, medium and low risk across 20 different sectors, with Morocco 2026 deemed to have a high risk for stadia, accommodation and transport, with a further 10 items deemed to be of medium risk.

United 2026 registered an overall score of 402 out of 500 for an average mark of four out of five. The Americas bid secured a perfect score of five for its ticketing and hospitality plans, with 4.9 for media and marketing. It’s lowest score of two came for organisational costs. United 2026’s bid was only deemed to be of medium risk for organising costs, government support and human rights/labour standards. All 17 of the other sectors were judged to be of low risk.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first to expand from 32 to 48 teams, putting increased stress on hosts. Morocco 2026 outlined plans to host the World Cup in 12 cities across 14 stadia. However, nine of these needed to be built from scratch, while the remainder had to be renovated. By contrast, United 2026 provided a current list of 23 host cities and stadia, which will be cut to 16. Seventeen of these stadia are ready to host matches, with only six needing renovation.

United 2026 has proposed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as the host venue for the final of the tournament. The semi-finals will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

At present, the proposed US cities are Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Cincinnati; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Miami; Nashville; New York/New Jersey; Orlando, Philadelphia; San Francisco Bay Area; Seattle and Washington D.C. The Canadian cities are Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto; while Mexico’s are Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey.

Morocco 2026 had outlined a budget of $1.87bn (€1.56bn) for the World Cup, with projected revenues of $7.2bn. United 2026 has a budget of $2.16bn, with projected revenues of $14.3bn – a factor that the Task Force said presented it with a “strong advantage” over its rival. United 2026 today again pressed its claim that its World Cup would deliver a record tournament for Fifa from a commercial basis, with a projected profit of $11bn.

Today’s announcement means a fifth failed bid for the World Cup by Morocco. The World Cup has only been staged in Africa on one previous occasion, when South Africa played host in 2010. Morocco also unsuccessfully bid to host the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 tournaments.

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