Nashville in the running to host 2026 FIFA World Cup games

France's Antoine Griezmann left and France's Paul Pogba warm up during a training session at the stadium in Clairefontaine France Saturday

The joint bid won 134 votes (67%) out of the 203 entitled to vote with Morocco bagging 65 (33%) when voting took place in Moscow on Wednesday, a day ahead of the Russia World Cup 2018. We've landed a World Cup.

The joint North American bid was considered a heavy favorite from the outset and earned high marks from FIFA's bid evaluators because it will, in theory, require less construction and lower costs than the Moroccan bid, which carried an estimated price tag above $15 billion. The bid book lists Arrowhead's total capacity as 76,640, but about 7,500 of those seats would be used for VIPs and media, leaving the stadium's capacity at just over 69,000 for the World Cup.

In the most positive news in American soccer in years, the United 2026 bid prevailed and the World Cup will be returning to the United States for this first time since 1994. "And it's great to be in the mix", said Keith Wells, executive director of the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission, whose job it will now be to sell the city to the United Bid committee and Federation Internationale de Football Association.

This was the first World Cup vote since 2010, when USA and Switzerland investigators unveiled corruption on an unprecedented scale afterwards. Most national teams prefer to establish their pre-World Cup training compounds away from their first-round group-game cities. Morocco would have needed to build nine stadiums and renovate five others.

Canada will host men's World Cup matches for the first time, while Mexico gets its first taste of the event since 1986.

The United bid made a presentation to UEFA officials on Tuesday, with CSA president Steve Reed handling the Canadian portion.

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"We will not be ideal but we are looking for uniformity and consistency - but it can not be 100 per cent", said Massimo Busacca, FIFA's head of refereeing.

All that work helped pave the way for Wednesday's landslide victory, a resounding win for the United Bid and landmark moment for North American soccer.

The North America bid also had to overcome concerns about the impact of policies from the Trump administration, including attempts to implement a ban on travel by residents of six majority-Muslim countries. The winning bid listed 17 US cities, including L.A., San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia, as potential match sites; organizers will select 10 of those. Victor Montagliani, the Canadian who leads CONCACAF, wants them to take three of the seven guaranteed qualification slots reserved for the region as host.

While Canada has never hosted-or even qualified for-the men's World Cup, it can count on its more experienced co-hosts and current NAFTA partners.

At a televised event in St. Petersburg today, Achilles was again presented with two food dishes, choosing the home team after some hesitation.

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