Nashville leaders react to news of North America's 2026 World Cup

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup

It is limited to 15 minutes, with bidding rival Morocco to follow at the Moscow Expocentre. That would bring each of FIFA's 211 members $50 million.

"We were very hopeful but, at the end of the day, if you lose a certain number of votes from your own continent, and from some of our Arab brothers, who flipped coins, then you have no chance", said Morocco bid ambassador Daniel Amokachi.

Fifa's president, Gianni Infantino, looked opportunistically quick to immediately put himself forward for re-election next year, and he was followed by U.S. president Donald Trump with a self-congratulatory tweet.

And ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is banned from soccer roles for six years over financial misconduct, announced in February that he felt Morocco was "the logical host" for the tournament as co-hosting had been "rejected" by Federation Internationale de Football Association following the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. The U.S. proposed to host 60 out of the 80 matches, leaving Canada and Mexico with 10 fixtures each.

"It just made a lot of sense to accommodate and expand a tournament have all three countries host and really kind of spread the football love all around North America", Shanks added.

The three countries sprawl over a vast area, making logistics tricky and ensuring that air travel is critical to the travel plans of teams and fans alike. In its book submitted to the Unified Bid Committee, the Kansas City group centered on the area's unity of two states and multiple sectors of the city. They had done presentations for the five other confederations on Monday.

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Portugal are ranked fourth by Federation Internationale de Football Association and won nine of their 10 European qualifying group matches.

Their position was weakened by the expectation that four U.S. territories at the centre of a voting row will not take part.

On paper, the two bids are worlds apart.

The winning bid, also shared with Mexico and Canada, was announced early Wednesday.

To do so would have invited ridicule when it needed to build or renovate the 14 stadiums it wants to use - a task FIFA's technical report said "cannot be overstated". The winning bid listed 17 US cities, including L.A., San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia, as potential match sites; organizers will select 10 of those. The US, Mexico and Canada received 134 votes (67 percent) with the Morocco bid earning 65 votes.

Hard numbers aside, it is a vote with Gibraltar having the same say as China.

"Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport", Cordeiro said. US cities in the running include Pasadena, California; Atlanta; Arlington, Texas and East Rutherford, New Jersey, for key games including semifinals and finals. Competing against South Korea, Japan, Australia and Qatar, the USA seemed like the obvious choice given its existing stadiums and geo-political standing. The United Bid is expecting to make more than half that in ticket revenue alone.

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