FIFA has decided to host the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada as part of a joint bid that defeated Morocco on Wednesday.
The North American nations' pitch outscored Morocco on the official evaluation, which laid the groundwork for a return to the continent for the first time since USA hosted alone in 1994.
Goal takes a look at the joint bid from the USA, Mexico and Canada joint bid to see which cities will be hosting the 48-team tournament – as well as the major cities who notably are excluded from the 23-city longlist.
Which cities would be hosting the 2026 World Cup?
The three bidding countries submitted a 23-city list to FIFA – whittled down from an initial list comprising of 44 – and the governing body will pick from 16 cities.
Chicago is a notable major American city to have not participated in the bid, with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel spokesman Matthew McGrath telling PA: "FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk. The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA's inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn't in Chicago's best interests."
Three countries from Canada and three countries from Mexico were also submitted, leaving the United States with the bulk of the hosting duty – with 17 cities submitted in the longlist.
Vancouver, which hosted the 2015 Women's World Cup final, will not be participating in the 2026 bid.
United States: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.
Canada: Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto
Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey
Have any of the bidding nations hosted a World Cup before?
The United States was the last of the three nations to have hosted a World Cup, last hosting the finals in 1994 which were won by Brazil. The final was held at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Los Angeles, California, and were played across nine cities throughout the country – a small handful compared to their 2026 bid.
The nine participating cities were Los Angeles, Stanford, Pontiac, East Rutherford, Dallas, Chicago, Orlando, Foxborough and Washington, D.C. – mostly at professional or college American football teams.
Mexico hosted the tournament in 1970 and 1986 – the most recent finals taking place in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey, Queretaro, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nezahualcoyotl, Toluca, Leon, Iprapuato and Zapopan.
Canada has never hosted a men's World Cup final but hosted the 2015 Women's World Cup in Vancouver, which was won by the United States.
What was the bidding process?
As per the FIFA rules, the 2026 World Cup is not allowed to be held in Europe or Asia due to the two continents hosting Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022 respectively. There must be a 12-year gap between continents hosting the finals. An African bid, a North American bid, a South American bid and an Oceanic bid were the only possible outcomes.
There are set principles as relayed by FIFA as part of the process to select the host nation of the 2026 World Cup, such as: requirements relating to stadium and infrastructure, sustainable event management and human rights, and environmental protection.
Morocco has been deemed "high risk" in the above factors – including transport, accommodations and stadiums – leading the United States to outscore them ahead of the June 13 bid. However, the North African country is believed to be popular among many of the voting countries and could cause an upset ahead of Russia 2018.
How many teams are participating in the 2026 World Cup?
The 2026 World Cup is expected to be the first tournament to feature an expanded 48 teams, following FIFA's expansion from 32 participating teams.
This will likely mean three-team groups in which 16 winners quality for the knockouts, where the format will remain identical to the one that has been present since 1986.