In what took a backseat to the more shocking news, FIFA was set to announce the host nation, or nations, for the 2026 World Cup.
The joint bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States won the bid over Morocco and it was not particularly. The joint bid from the CONCACAF nations received 146 votes from FIFA member nations as opposed to only 46 for Morocco. It was a relative landslide.
While infrastructure, stadiums, and other necessities needed to host a global event were taken into consideration, the biggest attraction that the North American bid was, unsurprisingly, money.
In their presentation, the joint bid committee, promised that their bid would bring in $11 billion in revenue for FIFA. That amount of revenue means that each national association could receive upwards of $50 million. Money talks and it seems to be the language that the organizers of the world’s game understands the most.
As reported in the New York Times by Tariq Panja and Andrew Das, Morocco only pledged about half the revenue compared to their rival.
The promise of record profits by the North American organizers was not lost on Morocco.
As Moncef Belkhayat, a Moroccan official, said, “The United bid is proposing an offer that is mainly a business proposal for football. Their offer is based on dollars, on profit, while Morocco is offering an offer that is based on passion for football, for development of football.”
The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament in which the format will expand to 48 teams. The expanded format means that the United bid is also more attractive logistically speaking. That there will be three host nations makes it easier to accommodate the teams participating in the tournament.
The host cities for this tournament have already been announced. While technically it is a joint bid, the majority of the games will take place within the United States. Canada and Mexico will host ten games each while the United States will host the remaining sixty.
This marks the first time the World Cup, not counting youth tournaments, will take place in Mexico since 1986, the first for the U.S. since 1994, and the first time ever for Canada. It will also be the first time the competition will be hosted by more than one nation since Korea/Japan back in 2002.