Selection of North American bid could bring tournament to Edmonton

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2018

"We'll get the team performing and we'll qualify if we have to", John Herdman told CTV's Your Morning Wednesday, just about an hour after the announcement that the joint bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States had beaten Morocco to host the 48-team tournament.

The North American bid collected 134 votes to the 65 for Morocco.

If the united North American bid is successful, it would be the first time Canada will partake in hosting the men's World Cup tournament.

"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.

Mexico hosted the tournament in 1970 and 1986 - the most recent finals taking place in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey, Queretaro, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nezahualcoyotl, Toluca, Leon, Iprapuato and Zapopan.

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.

Morocco have now failed with five bids to hold the World Cup and are unlikely now to have the financial means to put together another bid for the foreseeable future.

Just to add to the complexity, there was a third option for all voters: neither Morocco or United and we would have had to start a new bidding process. "Our vision is of a world of opportunity for our Candidate host cities and for the global football community".

North American soccer fans have something to look forward to beyond Thursday's kickoff of the World Cup in Russian Federation. Canada, which has only qualified for the World Cup once, in 1986, has hosted a number of previous Federation Internationale de Football Association events, including the 2015 Women's World Cup. And the United committee's bid packet is expecting the 2026 event to be even more lucrative, projecting a record $14 billion in revenue and $11 billion in profits.

The World Cup is coming back to America.

Before the joint bid was conceived, FIFA President Gianni Infantino warned that Trump's efforts to ban immigrants and refugees from several Muslim-majority countries could derail American efforts to host the World Cup, and there had been speculation that the president's subsequent actions ― including his rhetoric about immigrants from Latin American countries and his belittling of African nations and Haiti as "shithole countries" ― could cost the North American bid crucial votes.

The expanded 2026 men's event, featuring 48 teams for the first time, will be played in 16 different cities - 10 in the USA, plus three sites in both Canada and Mexico.

Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City are up for consideration in Mexico, while Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton are the Canadian cities that have been proposed. Elsewhere in the region, Philadelphia is also under consideration for the 2026 competition, as are Boston and Cincinnati.

The 87,000-capacity MetLife Stadium outside NY is proposed for the final.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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