For the fifth time, Morocco loses shot at hosting the World Cup

While the 2018 FIFA World cup is set to begin on 15 June, FIFA has already begun preparation ahead of the future World cups. It awarded hosting of the 2026 tournament to the United States of America, Mexico and Canada after the tri-nation won the joint bid against Morocco in its fifth failed attempt at hosting.

The North American bid beat its North African rival with 134 votes to 65. The 2026 tournament will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on Thursday. Before the voting was concluded, both bids were given a last chance at tabling their case in a 15-minute presentation in front of the congress held at the Moscow Expocentre. The North Americans pledged that if they hosted the tournament, it would generate a profit worth $11 billion, while Morocco’s profit assumption was less than half theirs at $5 billion.

According to FIFA, out of the 53 CAF-affiliated countries; 9 voted for the joint bid (Benin Republic, Botswana, Cape Verde, Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Sierre Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe). The North African country also got votes from super powers like China, France and Italy.

The bid from three countries is the first hosting of its kind. And although games will be shuttled between the 3 countries, most of them will be held in the Unites States. Of the 80 games, 10 matches will be held in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the US, with the final played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

United States of America had previously hosted the World Cup in 1994, while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup but held the women’s tournament in 2015.