Money talks for Federation Internationale de Football Association as Morocco pays price for Infantino’s expansion plan

Money talks for Federation Internationale de Football Association as Morocco pays price for Infantino’s expansion plan

The vote went 134 votes to 65 in favour of the United 2026 bid, with fellow finalist Morocco missing out on becoming only the second African nation to host the event after South Africa in 2010.

"If you stop and appreciate for a second just the vast number of assurances, guarantees that we had to get from all three governments working together, that is a massive undertaking for one nation, let alone three nations", Cordeiro said after the vote by the Congress of world soccer's governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association in Moscow, where the 2018 World Cup kicks off on Thursday.

The 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams playing a total of 80 games - 60 are planned in the USA and 10 each in Canada and Mexico.

It will be the first World Cup to be expanded to 48 teams, posing an enormous logistical challenge for the hosts, one of the issues that is thought to have undermined the Moroccan bid. With a handful of games in Mexico and Canada but the majority in the US, the 2026 bid promises the richest and most lucrative tournament in the history of global soccer.

The North American bid beat competition from Morocco, which was hoping to become just the second African country to host soccer's biggest global tournament. Canada has never hosted a men's World Cup but held the women's tournament in 2015.

North American soccer fans have something to look forward to beyond Thursday's kickoff of the World Cup in Russian Federation. The United States and Canada did not qualify.

Trump had earlier warned that any countries voting against the North American bid would suffer consequences in trade deals.

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Morocco has made five unsuccessful bids to host the World Cup.

The World Cup is coming back to America in 2026. The United Bid featured a youth team player from each of the three nations, beginning with a moving tale by 17-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies, the current Major League Soccer player of the week, about how his family had been welcomed after fleeing civil war in Africa.

Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa: "It's an opportunity to bring the world together and highlight how well things work between Canada, Mexico and the United States".

The three federation chiefs also spoke, with Cordeiro strongly emphasizing the profitability of a North American tournament, promising $11 billion in revenues. In the expanded competition, the Concacaf region, which represents North and Central America and the Caribbean, would still receive three additional slots, decided through the qualifying process, plus one team in an worldwide playoff.

Canada has not qualified since 1986, which is the last time the United States of America did not qualify, before 2018. Matches in Mexico will be played in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara; games in Canada will be played in Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton, according to Pro Soccer Talk.

Fifa, in consultation with the local organising committee, will make the final venue decisions.

The FIFA inspectors had deemed Morocco a "high risk" choice, describing the two bids as "almost at opposite ends of the spectrum".

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