World Cup Coming To North America, But Chicago Won’t Host Games

James Marshall
June 14, 2018

The North America bid received 134 of the 203 votes, while Morocco polled 65 in the vote of the FIFA Congress in Moscow which saw one member vote for "neither bid". That event set attendance and television viewership records and helped kick-start the rapid growth of men's professional soccer in the country.

To do so would have invited ridicule when it needed to build or renovate the 14 stadiums it wants to use - a task FIFA's technical report said "cannot be overstated".

"A lot of hard work has really paid off by USA soccer, [the] Mexican Soccer Federation and the Canadian Soccer Federation to bring it to all three host countries for the very first time in World Cup history".

The winning bid, also shared with Mexico and Canada, was announced early Wednesday.

"We know that we have the best stadium in the country", Iveson said.

The five-time World Cup winners will also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E at this summer's tournament, which will be held in Russian Federation from June 14 to July 15.

It may still be eight years away, but the expectation of seeing Canada co-hosting, and actually playing in, a men's World Cup is already palpable. "We've got 23 fantastic venues across three countries, obviously supported by wonderful infrastructure, and hundreds and thousands of years of common culture - we share each other's languages, each other's food".

A total of 200 voters from Fifa's member associations had to decide between Morocco or North America as host of the 2026 World Cup.

A major factor in the city's ability to host World Cup games in 2026 is funding from the Alberta government for things like security, transportation and facilities. American soccer officials downplayed the influence of politics on the bid. Former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati told ESPN the most important time in the U.S. capitalizing on 2026 starts today.

Ultimately, the United Bid won on its comparative merits.

"We put together an unbelievable bid", Cordeiro said.

"We've got to look at this as an opportunity, not a problem", Tory said. "Categorically, nobody", Cordeiro said.

Field dimensions smaller than FIFA's standard for World Cup matches, Catlett said, were the chief obstacles.

Hosting World Cups and Olympic Games is openly a politicians' prestige-burnishing project now, not only for Russia's president Vladimir Putin or Qatar's Emir, seeking soft power from hosting in 2022.

Willa Frej contributed reporting.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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