Ten African countries that did not vote for Morocco

Annette Crawford
June 13, 2018

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is heading to North America after a joint bid from the United States, Canada, and Mexico defeated Morocco in a landslide vote.

The announcement was confirmed at the FIFA Congress which took place in Moscow on Wednesday, on the eve of the start of the 2018 edition of the competition. 60 matches will take place in the USA with the remaining 20 split evenly between Canada and Mexico.

There will be 48 nations represented at the tournament in eight years' time - 16 more than will take part in Russian Federation - in an attempt to increase global interest in the World Cup.

The North American bid's selection means that the United States will now work together with Canada and Mexico to organize the tournament, and puts Trump in the incongruous position of celebrating a collaboration with the leaders of nations his administration has been excoriating as freeloaders. "And our history of hosting extremely successful global soccer games and our enthusiastic fan base gives us confidence that - if selected - Denver and the region would be excited to see the World Cup take place at the Denver Broncos' stadium".

The United States last hosted the men's World Cup in 1994.

Although Morocco counted on the strong support of its neighboring African countries, eleven refused to vote for Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup. 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.

Regardless of the political disputes, the joint proposal envisages the tournament's coming to 16 cities across the three countries, the largest for any World Cup, with likely three cities each in Mexico and Canada and 10 in the United States.

The North American bid had been deeply concerned by Trump's threat during the bidding process that nations that did not support it should not expect United States support on other issues.

Morocco has made five unsuccessful bids to host the World Cup.

It's unclear at the moment how travel will shake out and how far teams will have to travel for matches.

Because they are all hosting, the Canada, U.S. and Mexico teams will all automatically qualify for the tournament.

The Moroccans were seeking to bring the World Cup to northern Africa for the first time. The Switzerland-based organization reports its revenue in four-year cycles, and most recently claimed $5.7 billion for the cycle culminating in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Host nations have always been granted automatic berths into the tournament, including in the lone previous World Cup that was co-hosted by multiple countries (2002; Japan and South Korea).

With its fifth attempt to host, Morocco was hoping to be the second African country to host this far-reaching tournament.

Mexican venues under consideration are Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City.

With 48 teams, there will be 16 groups of three teams. FIFA said in May 2017 that the question will be answered by the FIFA Council at a later date, and no decision was made on Wednesday. Canada qualified once, in 1986.

The FIFA inspectors had deemed Morocco a "high risk" choice, describing the two bids as "almost at opposite ends of the spectrum".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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