For the first time in 32 years, the men’s World Cup is back to North America.
More than 200 FIFA member associations gathered in Moscow on Wednesday to vote the hosts for the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
The North American bid – the product of over a decade of planning and campaigning – beat out one rival bid, Morocco’s, by a vote of 134 to 65.
This is the first time the World Cup will be held in more than one country since 2002, when South Korea and Japan shared hosting duties.
Three countries have never shared the duties before. The US, however, hosted the World Cup in 1994, while Mexico have hosted the tournament twice, in 1970 and in 1986.
The move is significant for both the United States and Canada, with each team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which gets underway on Thursday.
USA, Canada and Mexico had been considered favourites throughout the bidding process, despite some suggesting the controversial politics of American president Donald Trump could help Morocco.
The winning bid had been seen as the safer option given the standard of facilities and number of stadiums available, while a FIFA evaluation report had called Morocco’s bid “high risk“.
“On behalf of our United Bid, thank you so very much for this incredible honour. 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.
“The beautiful game transcends borders and cultures. Football today is the only victor.”
In qualification for the 2018 World Cup, the USA surprisingly finished fifth in a group of six countries in the fifth round of qualification, only ahead of Trinidad & Tobago.
Canada, meanwhile, did not even make it that far, finishing third behind Mexico and Honduras in the fourth round.
The country has competed in just one World Cup in its history, qualifying for the 1986 tournament and failing to collect a single point from three matches.
Mexico, meanwhile, finished top of the qualification pool and will face Germany, Sweden and South Korea in Group F.
Arsenal To Replace Aubameyang With Osimhen
English premier league side Arsenal have joined the race for Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen.
Arsenal have joined other premier league clubs Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United, who are also reportedly interested in signing the 21-year-old.
Arsenal are looking at using him to replace captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang whose contract expires next year.
If he joins arsenal, Osimhen will be the third Super Eagles player after Nwankwo Kanu and Alex Iwobi to play for the club.
Osimhen has 18 goals in 38 appearances for French side, Lille this season.
To avoid losing Aubameyang on a free transfer, Arsenal might be forced to sell him as he has courted interest from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
Arsenal are also interested in Colombian midfielder, James Rodriguez from Real Madrid but could face competition from Premier League rivals Everton and Wolves.
2020 AFF Championship Remains In November, ACC Moved To 2021
The most important sporting event in southeast Asian football will go on as scheduled. ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) have reiterated that the 2020 AFF Championship or Suzuki Cup as it is called, will still be played in November as originally planned.
That means there won’t be any extension to the domestic season, and any postponed fixtures in the three-month period will have to be completed before that.
Meanwhile, the ASEAN Club Championship (ACC) which was originally scheduled for next month has been postponed.
Covid-19: FIFA Suggests Player Contracts And Transfer Windows Be Changed
An internal FIFA document, presented to its coronavirus working group, is suggesting current contracts for players and coaches should be extended until the end of the delayed domestic football seasons.
The confidential document also recommends allowing transfer windows to be changed in accordance with new season dates. It also urges clubs and players to work together to find solutions to salary payments during stoppages.
The document was being discussed by members of FIFA’s working group. Decision is expected in the coming days.
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