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Decision a win for Concacaf


Decision a win for Concacaf

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MOSCOW – Continental governing body Concacaf has labelled FIFA’s decision to award the region the 2026 World Cup, as a “monumental victory” for the confederation.

FIFA, football’s world governing body, announced yesterday that it had accepted the joint bid by United States, Canada and Mexico, to host the showpiece.

Members voted overwhelmingly 134-65 against Morocco’s bid, in a move that will see the World Cup return to the Concacaf region for the first time since 1994.

Concacaf governs football in North, Central America and the Caribbean, with the 31-member Caribbean Football Union a part of the bloc.

“We are very excited and humbled that the FIFA member associations have entrusted the Concacaf region with the honour of hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup in its new extended format,” the confederation said in a statement.

“This is a monumental victory for the Concacaf family, as the United Bid exemplified the strong collaboration, beyond politics and business, that currently exists in our region.

“We would like to thank all the member associations who supported the United Bid, which can now test the effectiveness of a multi-nation hosting model for fulfilling the requirements of an expanded FIFA World Cup format, opening the doors for other nations . . . to come together to bid for this honour.”

Of the 203 members present and entitled to vote, a majority of 101 votes was required to be successful. A total of 200 valid votes were cast.

The last time the USA hosted the World Cup was in 1994. The return of the international tournament to Concacaf spells progress.

This tournament would be the first to feature 48 teams, after approval by FIFA to expand the teams from 32. After an increase was suggested in October 2016, the FIFA Council voted unanimously in January 2017 to the new format, which would see 16 groups of three teams participating in 80 matches.

Despite the added teams, the tournament would be completed within the usual 32-day period. The number of games to be played by the finalists remains at seven, except that one match would be replaced by a knockout match.

Concacaf currently has 35 eligible FIFA members who can qualify for the World Cup. (CMC/RA)