Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

US, Mexico, Canada embark on World Cup history with winning bid

On Wednesday morning in Moscow, Russia, the 68th FIFA Congress awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the United North American bid, submitted by Canada, the United States and Mexico. "Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege, the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026", an emotional US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said on stage after the vote.

In 2026, however, there won't be any official World Cup festivities in Chicago, after Mayor Rahm Emanuel pulled out of the North American bid in March. The stadium has also hosted World Cup qualifying games in the past.

Canada and Mexico have already named its three host cities. Kansas City is among 23 cities listed in the bid as candidate cities to host some of the 80 matches that will be played in the three countries over the course of the event. There was no professional league, numerous national team players came from New Jersey and California, watching live professional games from Europe was almost impossible, and the World Cup ratings from 1990 in Italy were miniscule.

The last time the USA hosted the World Cup was in 1994, with Brazil winning the tournament at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

With FIFA announcing Canada will co-host the 2026 World Cup, fans of the handsome game here in Ottawa are rejoicing.

A total of 80 games will be played with 60 planned in the United States and 10 each in Canada and Mexico with the final played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to National Football League teams New York Giants and New York Jets. Under the terms of the bid, Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches.

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And unlike past World Cup hosting decisions, it is being made by the 211 FIFA members associations (minus the bidding countries and any under suspension) as opposed to the FIFA executive committee.

Alphonso Davies, the soft-spoken 17-year-old who has turned heads ever since he joined the professional ranks two years ago, was selected to represent Canada on the podium as the North American bid made its final push. He noted more has to happen before the Alberta capital makes the cut of host cities by 2020.

The United States was defeated in the final round of voting to determine the 2022 World Cup host.

The World Cup in 1994 changed everything for the sport and help build a fanbase that grew into what it is today.

Toronto's mayor noted that Canada had little chance of hosting the global soccer tournament on its own, but will now reap the benefits resulting from its participation in the joint bid. Canada has never hosted a men's World Cup but held the women's tournament in 2015. The national team has become the butt of despairing jokes among Russians, having failed to win any of its last seven games and only managing a signal shot on target in its last two.

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