WOAY – FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, announced Wednesday that the 2026 World Cup would be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
This would be the second time the United States has hosted World Cup matches, after hosting the 1994 Cup as a solo host. Mexico was the lone host in both 1970 and 1986; Canada has not hosted a men’s World Cup before, but they were the lone host for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Only one previous World Cup was hosted by multiple nations – South Korea & Japan in 2002.
The joint bid, known as United 2026, won the first round of ballot of voting 134-65 over the only other finalist, Morocco. Per FIFA rules, European & Asian nations were ineligible to bid for the 2026 tournament, as Russia will host the 2018 Cup (which starts Thursday), and Qatar is scheduled to host in 2022.
48 teams will qualify in 2026 and will be divided into 16 groups of three teams each. 23 candidate cities from the three countries combined will be narrowed to 16 host cities (10 in the United States, and three each in Canada & Mexico).
Traditionally, the host nation automatically qualifies for its World Cup, but the FIFA Council will make a decision in the future on the qualifying status of all three nations.