US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup

4505072383 United States Mexico & Canada Bid Wins Vote For 2026 World Cup

That isn't set in stone, however.

When Gianni Infantino replaced embattled Joseph "Sepp" Blatter as president of soccer's governing body in 2016, he acknowledged that the organization was "in a crisis" and promised reforms.

Eight years ago, the USA was in a similar position, when it bid for the 2022 tournament.

It marks the first time the World Cup will be held in more than one country since 2002, when South Korea and Japan shared hosting duties. Eleven of those locations likely will be chosen, with a decision likely two years away.

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.

How many teams will participate?

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The expanded format in 2026 will include 48 teams, playing a total of 80 matches.

Five teams from every confederation except for UEFA, plus one additional team from CONCACAF, will take part in an intercontinental playoff tournament to determine the final two slots.

On paper, it was hard to make the case for Morocco. The United States will host the remaining 60, including the final.

But bid chief Hicham el Amrani said he was confident the country's infrastructure "could deliver" and made play of the North African nation's position, nine miles from the southern tip of Spain - dubbing it a "European" World Cup. Sign up for our month-long newsletter.

Although it would be the first tournament to be hosted by three nations, the vast majority of games will be held in the US.

Steven Reed, president of the Canadian Soccer Association, called the FIFA Congress decision "an extraordinary honour and privilege".

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The US, however, hosted the country on its own merit in 1994, while Mexico have twice before organised the tournament, in 1970 and in 1986.

As nice as it is to travel and experience new countries, having the tournament come to our own backyard is a chance that simply can not be missed, especially considering it will be held in three separate countries for the first time in the history of the World Cup. The plan features three matches on opening day in three countries for the first time.

The World Cup is returning to North American soil. Canada, which has only qualified for the World Cup once, in 1986, has hosted a number of previous Federation Internationale de Football Association events, including the 2015 Women's World Cup.

So what about the tournament setup?

Historically, the host nation has always automatically qualified for the World Cup - it hasn't been forced to play games in order to qualify for the tournament.

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