The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be staged in Canada, Mexico and the United States. This Wednesday, 13 June, the 68th FIFA Congress convened in Moscow and designated the three countries as the hosts of football’s most prestigious tournament, which by then will be played with 48 teams.
The United Bid received 134 of 200 votes cast, or 67%. Morocco tallied 65 votes (33%), and one single member association voted not to choose either of the two bids.
The three countries will bring the tournament to North America for the first time since 1994. Voters were persuaded by promises of record crowds, record revenues and, perhaps crucially, a record $11 billion in profit for FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association President David John-Williams, in a reaction to the announcement, stated, “It’s always good to see that the World Cup is in our Confederation.
“It is going to be an exciting World Cup played in the United States, Canada and Mexico.Obviously my concern is the fact that automatic places for these three countries could be a bit unfair unless properly discussed with other countries within the Confederation. That is something that needs to be addressed, needs to be talked about and needs to be ventilated properly,” John-Williams told TTFA Media.
The North American bid routed its only challenger after which members of the winning delegation leapt out of their seats to embrace one another and celebrate the end of a frenzied period of lobbying.
The 2026 tournament will be one of firsts. It will be the first time the World Cup is hosted by three countries, the first time it has a 48-team format, up from 32 teams, and it was the first time the vote was decided by FIFA’s entire membership. Most of the tournament will take place in the United States. Of the 80 matches, 10 will be in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the United States.
The last time the men’s World Cup was held in North America was when the United States hosted in 1994. It was held in Mexico in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted.
North American bid leaders have been on the road since April, visiting voting nations. The lobbying paid off as they rode to victory on a wave of support from the Americas, Europe and Asia, plus a few votes poached from Africa, whose regional soccer president, Ahmed Ahmed, issued a bombastic plea to his members on Tuesday, urging them to vote for Morocco as a symbol of African unity.
Three Spots for Concacaf?
Among the first questions for FIFA after the announcement was whether all three North American host countries would get automatic spots for the tournament, which is customary for the host nation. The answer was: not yet. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said discussions on the topic of automatic bids would take place in the coming weeks and months, and US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said earlier this week that he had not concerned himself with the issue yet. He noted, however, that Concacaf’s allotment of 6½ berths in the new 48-team tournament would be unaffected by the hosting decision.
Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer, wiped away tears before making a short speech in which, with his voice trembling, he thanked FIFA’s membership for “the incredible privilege” of hosting sports’ most-watched event.
“It was a very emotional moment for everyone,” Cordeiro said later, recalling the devastation he felt in 2010 when the United States failed to secure the right to stage the 2022 World Cup, which ended up going to Qatar after a much-criticized voting process.