A World Cup Win For The U.S., And The U.S. Isn’t Playing

The U.S. Will Host In 2026 With Canada And Mexico One of the world’s greatest sports event gets underway in Russia on Thursday and the United States won’t be...

The U.S. Will Host In 2026 With Canada And Mexico

One of the world’s greatest sports event gets underway in Russia on Thursday and the United States won’t be playing in it. That isn’t the real news, as the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup months ago.

The news is that the World Cup will be coming to the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026, the first time FIFA – international soccer’s governing body – has awarded its prize to a bid made by a combination of countries.

Morocco, the only other nation in the hunt, lost out in the vote announced Wednesday morning. It would have been the first African nation to host the World Cup. FIFA had acknowledged recently that Morocco was far behind the other bid in terms of infrastructure and potential revenue.

Morocco complained after the vote that everything seemed to be about money. Hey, good morning! The U.S.-Canada-Mexico combination promised FIFA an $11 billion profit, more than double what Morocco estimated. Money talks? Wakey wakey, Morocco!

The 80 World Cup games in 2026 will primarily take place in the U.S. Mexico and Canada each get 10, the U.S. gets the rest. And the final will be staged in East Rutherford, N.J., at MetLife Stadium, which makes New York City the de facto home site.

The North American bid did not require building any stadiums or infrastructure, which has been so problematic in recent World Cup stagings and the Olympics as well. The site for 2022, Qatar, has been dogged by stories of human rights abuses of foreign construction workers.

So the World Cup belongs to North America in 2026 as the U.S. misses the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Good things come to those who wait. And U.S. soccer fans have no choice but to wait.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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