Sport

Canada, US & Mexico joint bid wins right to host tournament

Canada, US & Mexico joint bid wins right to host tournament

Argentina's Nestor Pitana will referee the opening World Cup match on Thursday when hosts Russian Federation play Saudi Arabia, FIFA has announced.

The three countries presented a "United Bid" that promised to take football to a combined 500million people in North America and were awarded 134 votes to Morocco's 65. There are three in Canada and three in Mexico.

Former president Bill Clinton and other celebrities spent almost two years campaigning and the US still lost to Qatar.

The 2018 World Cup opening match and final will be played in Moscow at the Luzhniki stadium. The "United" bid from North America went in as the front-runner after inspectors gave it a score of 4 out of 5 in terms of the countries' ability and readiness to organize an excellent tournament.

However, FIFA noted that the new Elo method which was first used in chess and later tennis then in other sports for a number of years and is even involved in calculating the women's world rankings, with a specific version (SUM) developed especially to take into account FIFA's considerations.

Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal were the three Canadian cities designated in the bid to possibly host games in the 2026 tournament, which is expanding to 48 team, up from the current 32-team format.




The "United Bid" calls for the U.S.to host 60 matches, including all games from the quarter-finals through to the final.

The US hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986.

The absence of Italy, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Chile, who were backed by 13,000 fans during last year's Confederations Cup, has raised the prospect of some games at the World Cup being played to smaller crowds than originally anticipated. All soccer venues are expected to be ready by the time the 2026 World Cup rolls around.

Of the 211 Fifa member nations, 200 cast a vote at the 68th Fifa Congress in Moscow on Wednesday, with the winning bid needing a majority of 104.

The 1994 World Cup, staged by the United States, had the highest average attendance in the tournament's history, while Mexico was the first nation to host the event twice.


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