U.S. Soccer
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United 2026 FIFA World Cup

Canada - Mexico - United States
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US Soccer

MEDIA Q&A: United Bid Co-Chairmen Discuss Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Participants
Carlos Cordeiro – President, U.S. Soccer
Decio de Maria – President, Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación
Steven Reed – President, Canada Soccer 

Could you tell us what winning this bid will mean for soccer in the United States?

Carlos Cordeiro: “Firstly, let me say this is a great day for soccer, for football and a great day for North America. We have to appreciate that for the first time in 32 years, we will have the privilege, the pleasure, the honor to host a FIFA World Cup for men. It goes without saying that we are very humbled about that.

“When we got together some years ago, we all recognized that we are stronger as a team. No one country here, even including my own, could have done it by themselves. I think we presented a much more compelling opportunity to FIFA and the FIFA Member Associations by coming together as three nations. That is really the story here – the fact that we decided to come together. We put together an amazing bid with 23 fantastic cities across three countries, obviously supported by wonderful infrastructure and hundreds of years of a common culture, sharing each other’s languages and food.  We see this as a great celebration of football that will be something we’re looking forward to.”

What role do you think Miami and other cities could play in the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

CC: “Obviously Miami is very special to me, being my hometown. In fact, the beaches feature prominently in some of our bid slides. We are blessed with 23 really world-class stadiums – some iconic, some brand new, cutting edge and everything in between. When we have to determine the final 16 cities, it will be a very difficult decision that all three of us will have to make along with the folks at FIFA. It speaks to the quality of the facilities we have that this is not a decision I’m looking forward to – it’s going to be very hard.

“We’re very excited, there’s no question about the quality. If you look at the grades we received from the FIFA Taskforce, we got outstanding marks when it came to our infrastructure, our stadiums and facilities. That’s in Miami, but it’s also everywhere else and for that we’re very grateful and we’re obviously very pleased.”

Steven Reed: “As Carlos said, we’re really excited about the prospect of entertaining the World Cup in 2026 in our country of Canada. We have three wonderful host cities that have had great success in the past with hosting international sporting events, including the Women’s World Cup, Women’s U-20 World Cup and Men’s U-20 World Cup. I think all of those host cities are really excited to be part of this process. Along with Carlos’ comments, there are going to be some disappointments, unfortunately, but hopefully we can have the most successful World Cup of all time and engage all the people from all three of our countries.”

Decio de Maria: “I think Miami being part of this project is a recognition of the investors that we’ve had for a long time and now are more openly investing in developing football in Miami. They should be very excited about that and receive applause, because they are now going to further develop football in the area of Miami.”

How much energy and effort was expended in trying to mitigate any political effects on the bid?

CC: “We’re very, very grateful for the strong support of the bid from all three national governments. If you stop and appreciate for a second just the vast number of assurances and guarantees that we had to get from all three governments working together, that is a massive undertaking for one nation, let alone three nations, so if there was any complexity here, it was the fact that the three nations working together just raised the difficulty of getting this stuff done. FIFA would not have given us the scores we got – which were the highest scores – were it not for the fact that we got exactly what we needed from all of our governments. It doesn’t speak to mine as it does to all three.

“As far as the U.S. is concerned, you probably are aware that just overnight we got a Senate resolution supporting the bid unanimously passed, we got the same some weeks ago from the U.S. Congress and so it was truly bipartisan. It so happens that our President today is a Republican, but at the end of the day, this was a bipartisan effort. The folks at the White House were very focused on assisting us and getting the right paperwork and with that, our scores were where they were and I think that speaks to the compelling bid we had to offer.”

Now that you’ve landed the 2026 FIFA World Cup, what do you see as the biggest commercial opportunity in your respective countries in this eight-year buildup until the event starts?

SR: “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us. This is clearly a world-class event, the scope of which we haven’t seen in our country, and we’ve hosted the Winter Olympics in Vancouver-Whistler and many, many years ago we had the Calgary Winter Olympics. But this is enormous and I think clearly there is a great opportunity to commercialize this, create new and lasting sponsorship opportunities and ultimately, our focus is to grow our sport, grow our game and to provide the impetus for that.

“We’ve got the strength in numbers, where we have over a million registered players in a country that only has over 30 million in total population. It’s one of the strongest sports, one of the largest sports and I think that we can become the preeminent sport in our country. That’s the legacy that we would love to see.”

Listening to Mr. Infantino a couple minutes ago in the press conference, he said that it was Concacaf's decision regarding qualifying for 2026 and that it was Concacaf's decision to award the three spots directly to the United States, Mexico and Canada. Did you emphasize with Concacaf, prior to the bid, how important this was for you? Was this a priority for everybody in the bid to include Canada, Mexico, and the United States directly into the World Cup?

CC: “I think you’re asking lots of different questions there. The issue about who would get automatic bids to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, if that’s the question, that is not Concacaf’s decision, that’s FIFA’s decision, and that will be made in the passage of time.

“If the question was more about why did the three of us come together, that was not Concacaf’s decision, that was our decision. Three nations deciding that we wanted to work together. We felt we’d be stronger as a partnership of three in presenting ourselves to FIFA and the member associations. Obviously, we’re all proud members of Concacaf, we’re all contributors to Concacaf, but ultimately, these were decisions that we made ourselves as independent football associations.”

Carlos, you’re sitting in the hall, the time comes up for the vote. What’s going through your mind? Did you think it would be that much of a landslide?

CC: “We always had a very clear pathway to victory, we’ve had that for some time. And that basically triggered a strategy: how do we get there? We’ve been saying for some time now that step number one was to basically consolidate our support at home, meaning the Western Hemisphere. Today we got 100 percent of Concacaf, which is an incredible achievement considering the diversity, the makeup of Concacaf. And we got 90 percent of CONMEBOL, nine out of ten, isn’t that a great achievement? We started there and we were very successful in anchoring our support with that early momentum coming out of the Western Hemisphere.”

“We then had a very clear focus on Asia. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I think we got something like 35 votes out of Asia, which is awesome considering there are only 46. And we’re not an Asian country, we don’t normally interact with Asia, apart from our senior women who play now and then.

“So, the Asia strategy was very successful, and then we came back and finished up the exercise in Europe and again, we were very pleased with the support we got there. I would say about 10 days ago, we had a sense that this was breaking our way. To say that we knew it was going to be a landslide is probably unfair, but we knew it was going to go well for us, so we were very, very pleased at the end with the result and delighted that it was the result it was.”

Carlos, I read a quote of yours basically talking about using the 2026 World Cup as an incentive to get more people in this country involved in the game. You were quoted as saying our disenfranchised, our underserved, if we can bring them into the game, we’ll go from four million to 12 million participants and every little kid will say ‘I want to play in the World Cup’, and why can’t they? 

Is the 12 million an actual number you’re shooting for or just something you threw out and can you share specific plans as far as how you would reach the disenfranchised?

CC:

“What I can tell you is that we believe that soccer or football will become the preeminent sport in North America. And I’m not just speaking for the U.S., I think I speak for Canada. Steven Reed talks a lot about how many more kids are playing football today than are playing ice hockey. Fact. The reality is in the United States, on the men’s side, we have a lot of competition, with three or four other sports, we’re not quite at the top yet. We believe this event will become a lightning rod, will become transformational for the sport as kids who are now eight, 10, 12 years old can all dream of potentially playing for a national team. There is some of that built into that; I think that’s what you’re getting at. By and large, we need more kids, boys and girls in the United States, playing soccer, inside the umbrella of the Federation. We don’t have enough of them. At three and a half or four million registered kids we believe there are many, many more out there who could be playing with us."

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MNT Jun 13, 2018
US Soccer

What's Next: Answering Questions on What's Ahead for the 2026 FIFA World Cup

The United States along with Canada and Mexico were awarded the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup during the 68th FIFA Congress on June 13, 2018 in Moscow.

You have questions on the tournament’s return to North America? We have answers.

See below.

GENERAL COMMENTS

We are all elated and, above all, very proud to accept the honor of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026 along with Canada and Mexico. Our collaborative effort demonstrated to the world our passion and commitment to deliver the most successful World Cup in history and leave a lasting legacy on soccer in the United States and around the world. While it is eight years away, we can’t wait to get started.  And we will get started soon.

We thank you for your support and look forward to providing more details in the future.

THE VOTE

How did the vote work?

The right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup was voted on by all the member associations of FIFA, with a simple majority needed to win. With 203 eligible ballots, the United Bid obtained 134 votes, the Morocco Bid 65 votes, with one vote for neither bid and three abstentions. 

We are grateful for the confidence FIFA showed today and we will reward that trust in 2026 and in the years leading up to what will be the greatest FIFA World Cup in history.

Why did the USA have a joint bid with Canada and Mexico?

We believed a United effort with Canada and Mexico would demonstrate to the world that three nations working as a team, highlighting our respective strengths and opportunities to serve the game locally and globally, would makes it clear that the 2026 FIFA World Cup belonged in North America. With the expanded 48-team field, this will be the largest

tournament in history and it calls for an epic hosting plan that meets both the needs, and wants, of FIFA and football fans throughout the world.  Bringing fans from across the world to the United States, Canada and Mexico will be huge boost to the sport in all our countries, but ultimately our campaign was and will remain rooted in the principle of serving the game on every continent.

Who voted for us/against us?

The votes of all member associations are public. You can find that information on fifa.com.

What happens now?

Now that we have successfully won the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, we can begin working with FIFA on delivering the best World Cup in history that will have a lasting legacy for soccer in the United States and around the world.

COMPETITION

When is the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

The exact dates will be set by FIFA in the future.

What are the Official Host Cities of the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

FIFA will decide the host cities in 2020 or 2021.  We included 23 candidate host cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States as part of our offer to FIFA to provide maximum flexibility and leverage when making the best choice for where and how to stage the Competition.

Will Canada/USA/Mexico automatically have a spot in the 2026 World Cup?

That decision will be made by the FIFA Council in the future.

How many teams will compete in the competition?

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the first with 48 teams – the largest ever.

How many games will each country host?

Under the current plan, the United States will host 60 matches, while Canada and Mexico will host 10 each.

When are matches being played in (city)?

Those details will be decided by FIFA in the future.

What is the schedule for the competition?

Those details will be decided by FIFA in the future.

When is the 2026 FIFA World Cup Official Draw?

Those details will be decided by FIFA in the future.  We anticipate it will take place in December 2025.

What is the qualification process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Those details will be decided by FIFA in the future.

When and where do Canada/USA/Mexico play their matches?

The schedule will be decided by FIFA once the host cities have been decided, the teams have qualified, etc.

Will the matches be broadcast on TV in Canada/USA/Mexico/Internationally?

We fully expect this to be the most-watched, most connected FIFA World Cup in history. We will spend the next eight years planning and executing efforts to engage fans all around the world.

ORGANIZATION AND JOBS

Who is Organizing the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Our three football federations will work closely with FIFA to organize the event.

Who are the staff of the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

The details of the organization have not been confirmed. We’ve been focusing on winning the right to play host to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. We will work with FIFA to confirm those plans in the months ahead.

Where are the 2026 FIFA World Cup offices located?

We will work with FIFA to determine where the headquarters will be located and make that announcement in the coming months.

How do I contact 2026 FIFA World Cup organizers?

You can contact any of our three football federations.

Are their opportunities to work at the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

There will likely be opportunities to work for the World Cup. Details will be shared in the coming months.

What kind of jobs will there be?

Many important roles will likely need to be filled during the next eight years. Details will be shared in the coming months.

Will there be jobs in my city?

There will be opportunities in all the host cities once they are decided. Already there are local organizing committees in all 23 of the candidate host cities. You can contact them for more information about how to get involved.

When will you post jobs?

We don’t have a specific timetable – we will determine next steps with FIFA in the coming months.

How can I apply for future positions?

More information will be shared about how to get involved in the coming months.

What kind of experience do I need?

Many important roles will need to be filled by staff and volunteers during the next eight years, requiring varying levels of experience and expertise. There will be many opportunities to serve.  Details will be shared in the coming months.

Will there be internships available?

There will likely be opportunities to work for the World Cup. Details will be shared in the coming months.

TICKETS AND TRAVEL

When can I purchase tickets for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

That will be decided by FIFA in the future.

How do I purchase tickets for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

That will be decided by FIFA in the future.

How much will tickets to the 2026 FIFA World Cup cost?

That will be decided by FIFA in the future.

How will I be able to follow my team across international borders?

We are committed to all fans being able to visit North America, attend games and enjoy the experience of what we plan on making the best World Cup in history.

Will VISAs be provided for all three countries?

Given that Canada, Mexico and the United States have just been awarded the right to host in 2026, it is still a bit early to outline or comment on VISA policies and practices. What we can say is we are committed to all fans being able to visit North America, attend games and enjoy the experience of what we plan on making the best World Cup in history. It would have been impossible to have pursued the privilege of hosting without a firm pledge and commitment to make the 2026 FIFA World Cup accessible to all.

Will there be ticket and travel packages?

Details will be figured out in the years ahead.

VOLUNTEERING

How can I volunteer for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and when does it begin

There will be opportunities to work for the World Cup – including an extensive volunteer program. Details will be shared in the coming months. In the months ahead we will be able to share various details on volunteering, including registration, language capabilities, citizenship requirements and other important information.

INFORMATION

How can I stay informed about all aspects of the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Details will be shared in the coming months. 

Where can I buy 2026 FIFA World Cup clothing or merchandise?

We can’t wait to unveil official merchandise and gear in the months ahead.  

How can my child try out for the 2026 FIFA World Cup? 

Playing for your National Team in a World Cup is the highest honor for a player. Those teams won’t be picked for a long time, so for now we wish that your child is having as much fun as possible playing soccer and can reach the highest level they hope to achieve. That’s what makes hosting the World Cup so great – it gives young kids something to dream about it!

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MNT Jun 13, 2018
US Soccer

United Bid Selected to Host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™

NEW YORK (June 13, 2018) – The United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States was selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ earlier today by the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow. For the first time in history, FIFA’s Member Associations were given the opportunity to vote on the host for the FIFA World Cup™. They did so by a vote of 134 to 65.

Today’s vote, which occurred a day before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, also marks the first time three nations have been selected to co-host a FIFA World Cup™ and the first time the FIFA World Cup™ will be played in North America in 32 years. The United Bid offers FIFA and its 211 Member Associations unity, certainty, and opportunity as they prepare to host the largest FIFA World Cup™ in history, which will be expanded to a 48-team format.

“Hosting a FIFA World Cup™ is an extraordinary honor and privilege,” said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid. “Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup™ in history. Our vision is of a world of opportunity for our Candidate Host Cities and for the global football community.”

“We are grateful for the chance to bring to life FIFA’s new vision for the future of football,” said Decio de Maria, President of Mexico Football Federation and Co-Chair of the United Bid. “Together—in partnership with our Candidate Host Cities, the Member Associations, and FIFA—we will use this platform to unite the world around football and help create a new and sustainable blueprint for the future of FIFA World Cups™.”

“Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport,” said Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid. ‘We are humbled by the trust our colleagues in the FIFA family have put in our bid; strengthened by the unity between our three countries and the CONCACAF region; and excited by the opportunity we have to put football on a new and sustainable path for generations to come.”

With the FIFA Congress decision to award the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, to the football federations of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, the three nations will jointly manage preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ until FIFA establishes their operations to manage the competition. Among other decisions, FIFA will make the final selection of host cities for the 2026 competition from the 23 candidates proposed in the United Bid.

Each of the United Bid’s 23 proposed stadiums are fully built, occupied, and operational, ensuring long-term use following the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. In addition, the United Bid has 150 existing world-class training facilities, millions of hotel rooms, and advanced infrastructure.

The United Bid is expected to generate more than $14 billion in revenue and $11 billion in profits for FIFA, which will be shared with the 211 FIFA Member Associations, helping further develop and expand the game of football across the globe.

2026 FIFA World Cup Facts and Figures:

  • Number of Teams: 48
  • Number of Matches: 80
  • Number of Players: +1,100
  • Candidate Host Cites: 23
  • Proposed Training Sites: 150
  • Projected Revenue: $14 billion
  • Projected Profit: $11 billion
  • Projected Economic Impact: $5 billion
  • Projected Ticket Sales: 5.8 million

About the United Bid Committee
The United Bid Committee was created by the football federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States to manage the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

Contact
Sandra Gage
Canada Soccer
sgage@canadasoccer.com

Iñigo Riestra
Mexican Football Federation
inigo.riestra@unitedbid2026.com

Neil Buethe
U.S. Soccer
nbuethe@ussoccer.org

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MNT Jun 13, 2018
US Soccer

What You Should Know About the FIFA World Cup's Return to North America in 2026

The FIFA World Cup is headed back to North America! Here are five things you should know about the 2026 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted jointly by Canada, Mexico and the United States:

What Happened in Moscow

The United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States, was awarded hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup during the 68th FIFA Congress on June 13, 2018 in Moscow.

Together, the United Bid garnered 134 of a possible 203 votes from FIFA Member Associations to win the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.

When and Where It’s Happening

Though specific dates are still to be determined, the 2026 FIFA World Cup will take place in cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States during the summer of 2026.

It will mark the first time the tournament has been hosted across three nations and just the second occasion that countries have co-hosted the competition, following Korea Republic and Japan in 2002.

Potential Host Cities

The United Bid included 23 candidate host cities, each of which has pre-built, world-class facilities to offer FIFA maximum flexibility and leverage when making the best choice for where and how to stage the competition.

A total of 16 cities are expected to be chosen to host matches during the tournament. FIFA will decide the final list in 2020 or 2021. Many other cities and venues will also be involved, making this a truly North American event from coast to coast.

See a map of the 23 candidate host cities below:

Expanded Format

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first to host an expanded field of 48 teams. Just as there are more teams, the competition format will also expand from a total of 64 to 80 matches.

Under the current plan, the United States will host 60 of those matches, while Canada and Mexico will hold 10 each.

What’s Next?

Now that we have successfully won the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the three federations can begin working with FIFA on delivering the best World Cup in history. There are eight years to build excitement, energy and awareness about the first Men’s World Cup to be hosted in North America in 32 years.

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MNT Jun 13, 2018
US Soccer

United Bid Hopes for Historic Day as Vote for 2026 FIFA World Cup™ Host Set for Wednesday Morning

CHICAGO (June 12, 2018) – The United Bid representing Canada, Mexico and the United States hopes to make history when the vote to determine hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ takes place as part of the 68th FIFA Congress on Wednesday, June 13, at the Moscow Expo Center.

As the 12th item on the agenda of the Congress, the vote by the Member Associations of FIFA is expected to take place between 5-7 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning.

FS1 and UDN will provide breaking coverage of this historic vote. The entire FIFA Congress will be broadcast live on fifa.com and the FIFA TV YouTube channel beginning at 2 a.m. ET.

About the United Bid Committee
The United Bid Committee was created by the National Federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States to manage the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

About The 2026 FIFA World Cup™
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the first tournament with the expanded 48-team format and will require world-class facilities and infrastructure to ensure a successful tournament. The United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States is uniquely suited to accommodate FIFA's high-level standards for hosting a FIFA World Cup™. If the United Bid is selected by FIFA as the host for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, up to 16 Host Cities will be selected as venues for games. Canada, Mexico and the United States also have a long and successful history as hosts - 13 FIFA World Cups™ have been hosted in Canada, Mexico and the United States, five of which have set attendance records.


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MNT Jun 12, 2018
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