North America will host the 2026 World Cup, the Fifa congress voted today on the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
134 out of 210 delegates voted for the United bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States to host the World Cup in 2026, while only 65 voted for Morocco to host the tournament.
One delegate voted for none of the bids.
Seven members recused their voting rights, including the four bidders, Guam, Kenyan, and the US Virgin Islands football associations.
The delegates were meeting in Russia for the 2018 Fifa congress.
This will be the first competition where 48 nations will compete in the tournament, which is the biggest in the footballing world.
The Fifa meeting had 15 points on its agenda, and voting on the World Cup location was point 13. Watch it back here.
Delegates were faced with a choice between a slick United bid, or the bid from Morocco which would bring the tournament to the African continent for a second time.
The United bid was highly rated by a Fifa taskforce who pointed to their stadium and travel infrastructure across the three nations as a key advantage.
Morocco, on the other hard, was seen as a higher risk choice. The north African nation would have to build many of the stadiums required for the event. Fifa warned last month “the amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated”.
Many expected the bid to go to the United coalition as they are the lower risk choice. This will be the first time 48 nations take part in the tournament, and the football community were keen to make sure the event runs smoothly.
The United States lost out on the 2022 tournament to Qatar, the awarding of which has been mired by corruption allegations starting a chain of events leading to the downfall of Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
Moroccan bid leader, Hicham El Amrani, argued their 12 host cities are “very close to each other”, while there will be huge travelling distances involved if the United bid from the American continent won.
For Morocco to win the tournament they had to rely on support from Uefa. France in particular lobbied for the French-speaking Moroccan bid.
The Moroccan bid had the backing of most of Africa following a call from Ahmad Ahmad, the head of the Confederation of African Football.
source: The national