A news alert about the vote to host the tournament gave an incorrect distinction to the winner. the item was the very first time a joint bid coming from three countries was selected; the item was not the very first time any joint bid was selected.
World Cup 2026: United States, Canada as well as Mexico Win FIFA Vote
After months of meetings as well as arm-twisting, a campaign of which began last August when Morocco jumped into the race on the final day of which countries could announce their intention to bid, ended in an instant: with electronic vote totals suddenly flashing onto a giant screen.
The victory spared U.S. Soccer a second stunning defeat in less than a year; the United States men’s team is usually missing the earth Cup This specific summer, its first absence since 1986. The American federation spent more than $6 million — out of a combined budget of about $8 million — to bring the earth Cup back to North America, as well as Cordeiro had crisscrossed the globe to meet voters since his election in February.
The North Americans had offered FIFA’s member associations a ready-made World Cup; the 23 stadiums they offered as potential hosts are already built, as is usually most of the infrastructure the expanded 48-team tournament will need: training sites, hotels, airports, rail lines.
as well as, like Morocco, the North Americans also had the full support of their governments. The nations’ so-called United Bid was a rare topic on which the presidents of the three countries found common cause, as well as the United States government, including President Trump, had mounted a stealthy shadow campaign to try to win over FIFA as well as its member federations.
The North American bid’s signature selling point, however, was delivered in a language FIFA members long have understood: revenue. The North Americans promised FIFA a record $11 billion profit — a staggering amount of money of which could mean as much as $50 million for each national association.
Morocco, which pledged a profit of less than half as large as its rival’s, criticized the focus on money over soccer until the bitter end.
“The United Bid is usually proposing an offer of which is usually mainly a business proposal for football,” one Moroccan official, Moncef Belkhayat, said Monday. “Their offer is usually based on dollars, on profit, while Morocco is usually offering an offer of which is usually based on passion for football, for development of football — not only in Morocco, nevertheless also in Africa.”
Morocco’s proposal, too, came with serious concerns. The 2026 World Cup will be the first with 48 teams, a significant expansion coming from the current 32 as well as a massive undertaking for any host, especially one going the item alone. Morocco would certainly have needed to spend billions of dollars to build nine stadiums as well as to significantly renovate a few others, as well as do all of the item in eight years — four fewer than the 12 FIFA gave to Qatar, which still has not finished the job of getting ready for the 2022 World Cup.
Then there were the hotels, the highways, the rail links as well as the facilities to host a tournament set to bring more than 1,100 players as well as millions of fans to North Africa; all would certainly have needed to be built, at a cost of billions more.
Infantino Has the Last Word
In his closing remarks, Gianni Infantino saves the big news for the end: he confirms he will stand for re-election as FIFA president at next year’s congress in Paris. No one expected him to walk away, nevertheless today he’s officially running.
Morocco Makes Its Closing Argument
Morocco opens which has a truly-deep-voice-over video about its pitch, nevertheless the item is usually uncomfortable to boast a $5 billion profit for FIFA when the additional guy just dropped a number more than twice as big. Morocco’s representative, stepping away coming from the lectern in an open space on the stage, speaks with passion as well as calls its campaign “the bid of a whole nation.” Then he restates some of the same talking points the item has used all along about domestic support (97 percent), coming infrastructure projects as well as one final dig at the United States as well as Mexico about guns as well as visas. “Weapons are formally banned in Morocco,” he says.
“Will Morocco be ready for the earth Cup in 2026? Yes,” says the former Nigerian national team star Daniel Amokachi, who has worked as an ambassador for the Moroccans.
The Bids Speak: North America First
Each bid gets one last chance to make an appeal to FIFA voters. The North Americans send up the 17-year-old Canadian national team player Alphonso Davies first, as well as he stresses his roots in Ghana as well as Canada in appealing for his country. The Mexican federation president Decio De Maria follows him, speaking of passion for soccer in his country. Brianna Pinto, a member of the U.S. under-20 women’s national team, follows De Maria. today Steve Reed, the Canadian federation head, as well as the Mexican youth international Diego Lainez. U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro comes on as the closer.
He drops the $11 billion profit line, how of which can be turned back to FIFA members for development.
“the item will be our honor to host the most extraordinary World Cup ever,” Cordeio says.
These brief speeches are an interesting, inclusive closing argument. Short enough to stress diversity as well as not bore the audience.
Breaking News: Spain Fires Coach Julen Lopetegui
In a stunning move two days before its World Cup opener against Portugal, Spain has fired its coach, Julen Lopetegui. Lopetegui accepted the vacant Real Madrid job This specific week, as well as of which infuriated his bosses at the Spanish federation. nevertheless today one of the earth Cup’s top contenders has been thrown into disarray only days before its first match. Rory Smith is usually working the story, as well as we’ll have more in a bit.
Votes vs. Votes Cast
Just to clear up something before we head to the final vote: the decision on the 2026 host will be made on “a simple majority (more than 50 percent) of the valid votes cast,” according to the rules. of which’s important, since about 10-15 votes have been missing in each of the votes so far, for reasons of disinterest or problems with voters who cannot sort out the electronic voting device in order to submit their votes correctly.
Back coming from the Break
The congress returns coming from a half-hour coffee break which has a third test of the electronic voting system. This specific time the question is usually, “If FIFA headquarters located in Zurich, Switzerland?” as well as yet again, not everyone casts a valid vote, as well as the percentage of correct answers is usually only 95. Hmmmmm.
South Africa Flipping?
South Africa’s Sunday Times reports South Africa’s soccer federation will go back on its early support for Morocco as well as back the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup instead. “South Africa will break ranks with the majority of the rest of the continent as well as vote for the joint North American bids rather than Morocco,” the paper’s Mark Gleeson reports.
Putin Arrives inside the Hall
Well This specific was not on the printed agenda, nevertheless Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has arrived to address the FIFA Congress. Infantino greets him which has a modified bro hug — baller move — as well as Putin steps to the lectern.
“Our goal is usually for all our guests — football stars or regular fan — to feel the hospitality as well as welcoming nature of our nation, to understand our unique culture as well as unique nature as well as for the fans to want to come back,” he says. “We desire to see you all at the opening match. Welcome to Russia.”
Annnnd we take a half-hour break. Surely wonderful news to Americans who woke up inside the middle of the night because of This specific.
Compliance speeches as well as budget reports at 4 a.m. on the East Coast of the United States are a special kind of sleep aid. Kudos to anyone toughing the item out while they are waiting for the 2026 vote.
Blatter Weighs In
coming from The Associated Press: The former FIFA President Sepp Blatter is usually claiming credit for Morocco’s not being eliminated by inspectors as a candidate to host the 2026 World Cup.
Blatter, who was ousted coming from power at FIFA in 2015 over financial misconduct, has publicly backed the Morocco bid.
He told the A.P. of which “I was fighting for Morocco as well as for Africa because at a certain time (FIFA) wanted to eliminate Morocco before going to the vote, as well as today, they are at the vote as well as I think the item’s a victory also of my intervention, especially.”
Morocco was scored 2.7 out of 5 by FIFA’s inspection task force, which marked the North America bid a 4 inside the same report last month. Morocco would certainly have been disqualified if the item had scored lower than 2.
Back coming from the Dead
More Infantino: the president also reminded members of the state the organization was in when he took control in 2016, describing FIFA as “clinically dead” then. He then tells them of which under his stewardship the item is usually today “alive as well as full of passion which has a vision for its future.”
Infantino Sings the Standards, in Four Languages
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, shifting effortlessly among four languages, uses his address to the congress to highlight FIFA’s development spending as well as his work expanding revenues. This specific is usually a standard for FIFA presidents when they talk to the organization’s many smaller countries, as well as the item is usually a point of which got him elected in 2016 — after he promised to double development payments to member nations. nevertheless experienced listeners among you probably got the subtle hint he was sending ahead of the 2026 vote of which one bid promises to bring in more than twice as much revenue as the additional.
Those billions of dollars coming from the earth Cup are where FIFA’s development money comes coming from, as well as Infantino is usually basically saying today of which the more of of which revenue there is usually to spread around as investments in global soccer, the better.
Sweden for North America
The president of Sweden’s soccer association, Karl-Erik Nilsson, told a radio interviewer of which his country would certainly vote for the North American bid today. of which’s three Nordic countries to commit to the North American bid inside the last hour.
Ghana is usually announced as absent inside the roll call. of which leaves 210 members in attendance at the congress, as well as since the four bidding nations cannot cast a ballot, the item means of which the magic number to guarantee victory inside the 2026 vote remains at 104. Morocco has been pressing to bar four American territories coming from voting, too, nevertheless the North Americans will be required to contest of which.
Late Night? For Many, Yes
A note coming from a bleary-eyed Tariq Panja, who was out very late reporting on Tuesday: Teams coming from both bids worked well into the early morning Wednesday to target swing voters coming from Europe as well as Asia. Shortly after 12.30 a.m., a delegation coming from Morocco swept into the a few-star Baltschug Kempinski hotel. They were followed less than 10 minutes later by a team coming from the North American bid, including U.S. President Carlos Cordeiro.
The two bid teams had been shadowing each additional’s movements for the entire week in Moscow, visiting various confederation meetings, as well as the trip to the Baltschug Kempinski, the Asian associations’ hotel, was a sign of which both bidders remained convinced they still had a chance to secure sport’s biggest prize.
The North American bid was able to lean on vocal as well as practical support coming from Saudi Arabia weeks before the final vote. The Saudis arranged meetings with additional Asian nations in Jidda last month, as well as, leaving nothing to chance, they lobbied on behalf of the North Americans until the final moments.
Hours earlier, as well as perhaps the biggest sign of the unpredictable nature of FIFA elections, the Netherlands, which had given the North American bid every indication of which its vote was secured, announced the item would certainly support Morocco instead.
Two More for North America
Finland as well as Denmark both announced This specific morning of which they would certainly support the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup.
A Little Comedy to Start
The congress begins with two tests of the voting system of which will become the star later. FIFA’s Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, asks the members to answer two questions: is usually the 68th FIFA Congress taking place in Moscow? as well as, is usually the 2018 World Cup taking place in Moscow. Troublingly, the correct answer — “yes” — gets only 95 percent. “I think those of which have voted no have had a long night, or a short night, depending on how you want to see the item,” FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, jokes before starting his welcoming remarks.
One additional curious thing about those votes: 18 voters didn’t answer the first one, as well as 22 didn’t answer the second. Let’s desire the item’s of which they just couldn’t be bothered, instead of a problem with (or a misunderstanding of how to use) the electronic voting devices.
What Else is usually on the Agenda Today?
The 2026 vote is usually the headliner, nevertheless FIFA has additional matters on the agenda, too. There will be consideration of proposed adjustments to FIFA’s statutes, as well as the potential for the suspension or expulsion of members (Ghana’s soccer association, for example, is usually inside the middle of a serious corruption crisis). FIFA will approve a budget — The Times got hold of those numbers yesterday — as well as plenty of arcane talk of rules as well as committee assignments.
World Cup 2026 Top Story Lines
• The race for the 2026 World Cup began last August. For a while, the item appeared the North Americans — who had announced their intentions in April — would certainly bid alone. nevertheless Morocco jumped in on the final day for countries to announce they would certainly bid; the decision forced the North Americans to rewrite their news releases, nevertheless the item did not diminish their role as the favorite.
• FIFA technical inspectors performed site inspections during visits to both bids in April. Their resulting report rated the North American bid as “very not bad” nevertheless declared the Moroccan effort merely “sufficient.” While the inspectors did not eliminate Morocco coming from the race, they noted pointed concerns about its ability to host.
• To win the right to host the earth Cup, one bid must gain a simple majority of votes coming from FIFA’s member associations, who each get a say This specific year. the item is usually the very first time FIFA’s membership has had a say; inside the past, the hosting rights were awarded in a secret vote of FIFA’s governing council.
• The North American bid is usually built around the words “unity, certainty as well as opportunity.” the item is usually offering a choice coming from among 23 existing stadiums in 16 cities inside the three countries. nevertheless its main selling point is usually money: the bid’s leaders have tempted voters with the promise of a record $11 billion payday for FIFA as well as its members.
• Morocco has bristled at all the talk of money, perhaps because there is usually no way the item can match the item. Instead, the Moroccans have billed their country’s “passion” for soccer as well as its proximity to valuable European television markets, where its matches would certainly air in prime time.
• Morocco’s main problem is usually infrastructure; the item would certainly need to build nine stadiums for the event, not to mention roads, rail lines as well as hotels, among many additional investments.
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