African Countries Vote Against Morocco's 2026 World Cup Bid

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After considering separate bids for the 2026 World Cup, the federations that govern soccer in Mexico, Canada and the United States chose to launch a cooperative effort to host the tournament in April 2017.

The 2026 tournament will be played in Canada, Mexico and the United States, whose joint bid was recently approved, and will feature a record 48 teams.

The United Bid Committee - the group responsible for landing the tournament in North America - says the World Cup is to bring in US$14 billion in revenue and US$11 billion in profits for Federation Internationale de Football Association.

"Together we have done everything in our power to make the tournament a top-notch event, be it for a player, a fan, or a fan in front of the TV", he said.

The final North American host cities could be announced as late as 2021, according to the statement.

The FA was among the first to congratulate the US' joint bid with Mexico and Canada. "Our cities are ready to host today", said John Kristick, executive director of the United Bid Committee. "Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege".

Here's what you need to know and what we're still waiting to find out.

The 2026 tournament will be the first to feature 48 teams after Federation Internationale de Football Association approved expansion from the traditional field of 32 competitors.

Mwendwa's decision to back Morocco is not surprising, as he had declared this stance back in February.

African Countries Vote Against Morocco's 2026 World Cup Bid
African Countries Vote Against Morocco's 2026 World Cup Bid

The opening ceremony will start at 5:30 p.m (local time), which is a enough for half an hour worth of action before kick-off in the first game of the 2018 World Cup, which will see the hosts, Russia, face Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

"There is no doubt that World Cup 2026 will elevate the sport of soccer to entirely new levels and Major League Soccer is honored to be a part of this joyous day".

But though US and Mexico have previous experience of hosting the event in 1994 and 1986 respectively, an expanded tournament across three host nations for the first time would appear to pose a major challenge.

As it stands now, 60 games will be played in the United States, with Mexico and Canada hosting 10 each.

Ten of the eventual 16 chosen venues for the tournament will be in the United States with Mexico and Canada having three venues each.

Much of that, of course, comes from the well-established economy and corporate structure in the United States, which is already set up to handle all aspects of a massive event like a World Cup.

"We believe strongly that this decision will be made on its merits", Cordeiro, the bid leader, told reporters. That remains the only World Cup the Canadian men have ever qualified for.

Russia, the 2018 tournament host, voted for the North American bid.

Vladimir Putin has thanked the "world football family" for its help in organizing the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Both bids were of a very high quality and we welcome the fact that the bidding process was both open and transparent.