Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter is claiming credit for Morocco not being eliminated by inspectors as a candidate to host the 2026 World Cup, allowing the North African nation to take on the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada in Wednesday's vote.
"Football is the only victor".
It is the fifth time Morocco has bid to host the tournament.
Meanwhile, the USA hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986. The U.S. hosted in 1994. Canada hosted the Women's World Cup in 2015. Mexico has played in every World Cup since 1990.
It will likely need heavy support from European nations to pull off a shock win - and its proximity to Europe is a plus for many supporters.
Football-crazy Mexico hosted in 1970 and in 1986, the tournament remembered for Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal. But that is not carved in stone.
Three Canadian cities - Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto - could potentially host matches.
The 2026 World Cup will have a much different job than the 1994 tournament because the difference in the soccer landscape in America between 1994 and now goes far beyond the growth of MLS.
The mayors of two of Canada's host cities celebrated the early-morning announcement on Twitter.
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.
The U.S., Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup.
Two notable absences, Chicago and Vancouver, did not agree to FIFA's requirements for hosting games and withdrew from consideration.
Back in 2010, when Australia bidded for the 2022 tournament, individual members of FIFA's Executive Committee voted.
Meanwhile Fifa fraternity also voted to maintain the headquarters of the soccer governing body at Zurich in Switzerland.
Davies' parents fled their home in Monrovia, Liberia, to escape a civil war. They ended up meeting some 150 national representatives.
"It was a hard life".
The tournament would "inspire a new generation of players and fans", Cordeiro continued, "which would also give a tremendous boost to the global game".
The 2026 award is also a victory for many of FIFA's corporate partners, which will have the advantage of more teams and the world's biggest media market.
"We believe strongly that this decision will be made on its merits", Cordeiro said in a conference call. His outbursts on African and Caribbean countries, his policy moves on immigration and his presence as head of the dominant country involved in the campaign proved a major hurdle. That's the spirit of the World Cup.
"Now we're asking for a second chance to show our abilities", he said through an interpreter. That means the 31-member Caribbean federation has three times the voting power of South America, which includes soccer powers Brazil and Argentina.
The so-called United bid gets 17 low-risk assessments and three medium (organizing cost, legal-government support, and human rights and labour standards). Morocco's bid garnered a score of 2.7, along with a stark warning from the inspection team that "the amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality can not be overstated".