BY KUNLE SOLAJA, MOSCOW.
For the fifth time, the Kingdom of Morocco has lost in the bid to host the World Cup. At the FIFA Congress in Moscow, the joint bid of United States, Canada and Mexico prevailed over that of Morocco.
For the African country, it is a record loss as no other country has had as many failed bid having always placed second to the eventual winners such as US for the 1994 edition, France for 1998, Germany for 2006 edition and South Africa in 2010.
For Mexico, a member of the winning triple bid, it will be a record third time that the World Cup will hold in their territory having hosted in 1970 and 1986.
For the US, it is the second time having hosted in 1994. The united bid received 134 votes to 65 for Morocco, with one of the 203 votes abstaining.
In a post Congress press conference, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino explained that the majority of the matches of the 2026 World Cup will be played in the US while just few matches will be allocated to Mexico and Canada.
Of the projected 80 matches, 60 will be played in the US while Canada and Mexico will each have 10 matches.
“It’s a bit emotional for us today,” US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro told the FIFA Congress.
“Thank you so, so very much for this incredible honour. Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
“The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures. Football today is the only victor.
“And in that spirit we wish all Russian hosts and all the teams competing here the very best of luck.”
Besides the 2026 World Cup being the first to be hosted by tree countries, it will the first in the expanded 48-team format.