By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
On the eve of the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 68th FIFA Congress meeting in Moscow on 13 June 2018 have chosen the joint bid of the USA, Canada and Mexico over Morocco to host the event in 2026.
Voting digitally for the first time, the joint bid received 134 votes and Morocco received 65 votes. There was only vote cast that rejected both bids.
The result was expected to be closer, with the underdog Morocco, possibly wining the contest.
But, that was not to be.
The 200 FIFA member nations, who voted, as usual followed the money; the joint bid promising, if selected, a profit for FIFA of US$11 billion.
The 2026 event will be the biggest World Cup ever, with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days. The USA will host 60 of those matches, whilst Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each.
This new format, although designed to extend the number of teams participating and giving more of them the opportunity to compete in association football’s flagship event, has not been well received in all quarters.
US Soccer President, Carlos Cordeiro, welcomed the result, remarking:
“Football is the only victor. We are all united in football.”
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’