Member nations voted this morning at FIFA’s 68th Congress in Russia to determine where the 2026 World Cup will be held. The United bid of Canada, the United States, and Mexico was declared victorious over the bid from Morocco.
This is the first time the World Cup tournament has been awarded by a vote of member countries, rather than FIFA executives. The 2026 World Cup will also be the first to feature 48 teams.
The United bid was judged to be the better option after a review by FIFA’s technical committee. The tandem of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico scored a 4.0 out of 5 on their rating scale, while Morocco received a score of 2.7, and the bid was judged to be “high risk” in the categories of stadiums, accommodation, and transportation.
Canada is expected to host 10 of the 80 total matches, with specific host cities still yet to be decided. All matches from the quarter-finals onward will be hosted in the U.S., however. Three stadiums across the country will play host to group stage games — most likely BMO Field in Toronto, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, and the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Whatever the venues are, they’ll all need to receive serious upgrades (BMO needs to be expanded above 40,000 seats, for instance), but that’ll surely still be more cost-effective than building stadiums from scratch, as has been the case in other World Cups.
The United States last hosted the World Cup in 1994, the process of which gave us MLS (since FIFA insisted that a professional league be established). That provides an interesting parallel this time around, with the Canadian Premier League taking shape — a fact that may have helped this bid. Mexico hosted the World Cup in both 1970 and 1986.
Canada has hosted several international FIFA events as well, including the 2007 Under-20 World Cup and the 2015 Women’s World Cup.