Federation Internationale de Football Association eyes big crowds, bigger profits at 2026 World Cup

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The U.S. has submitted 17 cities to host matches, but that list will be narrowed down to 10 by 2021.

"I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and my good friend His Excellency Turki Al-Sheikh for your tremendous support of the United bid", said Cordeiro. "Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup™ in history".

The 2026 World Cup will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team competition.

In the most positive news in American soccer in years, the United 2026 bid prevailed and the World Cup will be returning to the United States for this first time since 1994.

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Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from NY, said: "While the official name of the bid is United 2026, the three potential host nations are right now anything but united". The intercontinental playoff will be held somewhere in the United States, Canada or Mexico, perhaps in November 2025. Canadian officials have already said that there is a movement to stage games in all three countries on the tournament's opening day, should the so-called United bid carry the day.

Major League Soccer released the following statement: "The decision to host World Cup 2026 in Canada, Mexico and the United States is a testament to our three nations coming together for the United Bid, and a monumental step in our collective mission to further advance the game of soccer in North America".

The U.S. was chosen in part because the 16 stadiums needed already exist and the projected revenue for Federation Internationale de Football Association was $14 billion. Canada has never staged a men's World Cup, but hosted the women's tournament in 2015.

While the bid emphasised unity between the three host nations, it is undoubtedly US-led.

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Potential host cities include New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico City, and Montreal; but not Chicago, after the Windy City pulled out of the North American bid.

"You never know what the global federations will want from the host committee", said Wells.

Meaning even if you know nothing at all about the game, the sport, the event, you can still sound like an absolute expert by confidently telling your friends that the victor will definitely be one of those who've either been there and done it or won it before. Mexico played host to the 1970 and 1986 World Cup. The African country planned to use 14 stadiums, nine of which had yet to be built with the other five due for renovation. But to ensure the point is moot, Jones said the USA must reach underserved communities to find talent, develop teens such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and the Red Bulls' Tyler Adams and bring soccer passion to the public. The 2026 tournament will be the first hosted by multiple countries since the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

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