Nashville in the running to host 2026 FIFA World Cup games

Pat Wise
June 14, 2018

The current blueprint calls for Canada and Mexico to get 10 each with the United States hosting 60, including all games from the quarterfinals on. That event set attendance and television viewership records and helped kick-start the rapid growth of men's professional soccer in the country.

In March, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he was not willing to write a "blank cheque" to have Vancouver host soccer matches for the FIFA World Cup in 2026. "Thank you for entrusting us with this privilege, the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026", an emotional US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said on stage after the vote. As a host country, Canada will be allowed to play in the 2026 games.

Philadelphia may end up being the final city to make the cut as a host.

The socks are red and Montopoli wore them when Canada won the right to host the 2015 Women's World Cup as well as the 2012 and 2016 women's Olympic bronze-medal matches. FIFA's bid evaluation report scored it significantly higher than the Morocco bid, with United 2026 earning a score of 4.0 out of five, while Morocco scored 2.7, and the voters responded.

Canada has played host to numerous Federation Internationale de Football Association events in the past, including the men's Under-16 World Championship in 1987, the 2002 under-19 women's World Championship, the 2007 men's Under-20 World Cup, the 2014 Under-20 Women's World Cup and the 2015 Women's World Cup.

It beat competition from Morocco by securing 134 votes (including 11 from Africa) compared to 65 for the North African nation.

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The venues for the 2026 World Cup will be picked from 23 stadiums that either already exist or are under construction, and 16 of the USA venues are National Football League stadiums.

American soccer officials downplayed the influence of politics on the bid.

"This announcement is huge for soccer in the US and maybe even bigger for soccer in Nashville", said Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation President and CEO Butch Spyridon. "It should be based on the merits of the bid".

"On Dec. 2, 2010, I couldn't decide if I never wanted to go anywhere near this again or if we should start working on the next one right away", he said, referring to the tainted loss to Qatar's bid.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and Toronto Mayor John Tory both retweeted of a video of North American representatives reacting to the success of the united bid Wednesday.

The 2026 tournament will feature an expanded field of 48 teams - as opposed to recent editions having 32 - and will mark the first time in FIFA's history that a three-nation bid has been awarded the showpiece event.

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