The joint bid between the USA, Mexico, and Canada has won the rights to host the 2026 World Cup, beating out Morocco’s bid in a vote on Wednesday.
Despite expectations that Morocco could mount a late surprise charge and win the hosting rights, the “United 2026” bid won by a big margin, 134 votes to 65.
“Thank you so, so much for this incredible honour. Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege,” US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said.
Watch the moment the joint bid gets announced as the winner by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
The 2026 World Cup will take place in the United States, Canada and Mexico, FIFA has announced.
The United bid won ahead of Morocco with 67 per cent of the 203 votes cast at the FIFA congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
It is the fifth time Morocco has bid to host the tournament. The North African country claimed 33 per cent of the vote.
The 2018 tournament kicks off in Russia on Thursday and the 2022 World Cup is to take place in Qatar.
This was the first World Cup vote since 2010, when two hosts were named and afterwards investigators from the US and Switzerland unveiled corruption on an unprecedented scale.
The United bid received 134 votes to 65 for Morocco, with one of the 203 votes opting for neither side.
“It’s a bit emotional for us today,” US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro told FIFA congress.
“Thank you so, so very much for this incredible honour. Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
“The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures. Football today is the only victor.
“And in that spirit we wish all Russian hosts and all the teams competing here the very best of luck.”
The United bid had been long-time favourites and were successful, but FIFA president Gianni Infantino praised Morocco’s efforts.
Despite the latest setback, Morocco vowed to continue its bid to host the tournament in future.
Morocco FA president Fouzi Lekjaa said: “I would like to reaffirm the determination of my country, Morocco, to continue to work for football, to work for the youth and also to realise some day our dream to host the World Cup in Morocco.”
Congress was earlier addressed by Russia president Vladimir Putin, who thanked Infantino a day prior to the 2018 tournament opening game between the hosts and Saudi Arabia.
England, like Morocco, knows the feeling of falling short in the bid to host the World Cup. The Football Association has not hosted the tournament since 1966, having failed in bids for 1990, 2006 and 2018.
The FA was among the first to congratulate the United bid, which earned its vote.
A FA spokesperson said: “We congratulate the USA, Canada and Mexico on winning the bid to host the 2026 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.
“We cast our vote for the United bid as we believe the independent technical assessment made its advantages very clear.
However, it is important to note that both bids were deemed to have met the hosting requirements and a tournament in Morocco, close to Europe and in a country that loves football, had a great deal for English football fans to be excited about.
“We are confident that the USA, Canada and Mexico will put on a fantastic event and we look forward to the tournament in 2026.”
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 13, 2018
Provided by Press Association Sport
Marcus Rashford’s stunning strike set England on course for a winning World Cup send-off as Gareth Southgate’s much-changed side produced a controlled performance against Costa Rica.
Just 11 days before their Group G opener against Tunisia, Thursday’s sold-out Elland Road friendly was the last chance for the Three Lions to fine-tune before departing for Russia.
Southgate made widespread alterations in a bid to test his options and for the most part was rewarded with an encouraging display, with Rashford superbly opening the scoring before Danny Welbeck came off the bench to secure a 2-0 win against underwhelming Costa Rica.
It would have been more had the Three Lions showed a cutting edge, but there was far more to shout about in comparison to the countries’ last meeting at the World Cup four years ago.
Roy Hodgson’s already-eliminated side brought the curtain down on their dreadful finals foray with a lifeless goalless draw in Belo Horizonte.
Just five members from the squad in Brazil are heading to this summer’s finals, with Southgate favouring promise over experience.
This is a fresh group bursting with potential and Rashford is among the contenders to star judging by this audition in West Yorkshire, where a superb 25-yard opener crowned a fine performance,
The Manchester United forward was particularly impressive in the first half, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek another fringe players to sparkle in the first period of a match that tailed off after the break.
But England never looked in danger of throwing away their lead and substitute Welbeck headed home to seal victory against the 2014 World Cup’s surprise package.