FIFA members vote Wednesday on whether to award the 2026 World Cup to frontrunners North America or to underdogs Morocco, which has African support to bring football's showpiece event back to the continent. In eight year's time, numerous young rising stars of the United States men's national team should be in their prime as it is expected to be the first World Cup with 48 teams.
The 2026 World Cup will be the fourth men's World Cup hosted in North America, with Mexico hosting it in 1970 and 1986 and the United States previously hosting it in 1994.
Morocco, which has now lost five bid campaigns, was classy in defeat - congratulating the North American winners. Citing a number of high-profile sponsors dropping FIFA, London newspaper The Independent reported that FIFA's 2018 World Cup sponsorship revenues were down $240 million.
Team Canada player and Whitecaps forward Alphonso Davies shares his story of being welcomed with open arms by Canadians and explains that he knows the people of North America will do the same for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ if the United Bid wins the vote.
North American soccer fans have something to look forward to beyond Thursday's kickoff of the World Cup in Russian Federation.
Morocco Federation: "I wish to congratulate Fifa for the conduct of this process and congratulate the president for what he has done in order to move things towards more transparency and more inclusion".More news: Meghan Markle Officially Joins Royal Foundation Alongside Harry, William and Kate
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Other cities on the list are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Edmonton, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Monterrey, Montreal, Nashville, New York/NewJersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, DC.
The "United Bid" calls for the U.S.to host 60 matches, including all games from the quarter-finals through to the final. "We're talking about football and what is fundamentally, at the end of the day, the best interest of football and our footballing community".
Each team will play just two group-stage matches instead of the customary three.
The report made the US-Canada-Mexico bid the clear favourite after rating it four out of five, and Morocco was not able to bridge the gap.
But in the modern world, commercial clout and the promise of safe, sophistated infrastructure invariably carry more weight than passion and legacy - as Morocco seem likely to find to their cost when the race to stage the 2026 World Cup reaches its denouement tomorrow.
"No one has said to us they're not voting for us because of who we have in the White House. Our cities are ready to host today", said John Kristick, executive director of the United Bid Committee. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar. Canada, for their part, has eight years to prepare a men's team worthy of their place at the party.