• North America wins vote to host 2026 World Cup; Seattle could be a host city

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk , KIRO 7 News Staff


    MOSCOW - The United States, along with Mexico and Canada, have been awarded the 2026 World Cup. The three nations will all co-host the event. 

    The United Bid defeated Morocco.

    The decision brings the world's largest sporting event back to North America for the first time since 1994. Seattle is on the list of 23 proposed destinations across continent that are vying to become a host city.

    The Seattle Sounders, along with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine and other civic and sports leaders from Puget Sound, are holding a news conference at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss Seattle's possible role.

    FIFA will make the final selection of host cities for the 2026 competition from the candidates proposed in the United Bid. 

    This was the first vote after the controversial decision to give the 2018 finals to Russia and the following finals, scheduled for 2022 to Qatar, The Guardian reported. England was stronger on paper, but an investigation of the vote showed corruption that included bribery and vote-swapping and led to the executive committee losing the right to choose the finals site, The Telegraph reported.

    In Wednesday’s vote, the United bid won with 134 votes, beating out Morocco’s 65 votes.



    The announcements about host cities haven't been made yet. The list of potential city hosts will be cut to 16 “official host cities” by June 2021. That list is expected to include at least 10 U.S. cities, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

    Both teams and matches will increase in the United games with 48 teams, up from this year’s 32, and 80 matches, an increase from the current 64, the AJC reported. The US will host the most games -- 60.

    The finals are expected to happen at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the AJC reported.

    The 2018 World Cup kicks off in Moscow Thursday and run until July 15. 

    Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill and Kyle Walker of England in action during a training session as part of the England media access at Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 on June 13, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
    Alex Morton/Getty Images

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