Federation Internationale de Football Association eyes big crowds, bigger profits at 2026 World Cup


Mexico has twice hosted the World Cup, in 1970 and 1986.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday in Russian Federation, with a field of 32 teams from around the globe competing in a monthlong tournament that concludes July 15.

The FA was among the first to congratulate the US' joint bid with Mexico and Canada.

Exterior night view of Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots NFL football team in Foxboro Massachusetts lit up at night. Venues for the United bid will be picked from existing stadiums or new ones under construction.

Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal are Canadian candidate host cities for the men's soccer showcase, expanded to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament.

The host team always qualifies for the tournament, but there are questions about whether or not all three countries will be given automatic berths.

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In qualification for the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. surprisingly finished fifth in a group of six countries in the fifth round of qualification, only ahead of Trinidad & Tobago.

After 32 years, the World Cup will return to the U.S.in 2026, but Chicago won't host any games of the soccer tournament this time around. It will also be played during the 250th anniversary celebrations of the country, founded in 1776.

When the idea of hosting 2026 World Cup training camps on the Island was first suggested last September, headmaster David Robertson said he would be interested in pursuing that hosting opportunities. "I mean, to say that we knew it was going to be a landslide was probably unfair, but we knew it was going to go well for us". This effort was an enormous priority for former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and his successor Carlos Cordeiro and the victorious effort could be an enormous boost to the sport in the United States.

The North American bid book published earlier this year proposed the 84,953-capacity MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside New York City for the final.

Canada hosted the 24-team FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, as well as the Under-20 World Cup in 2007. There was no professional league, numerous national team players came from New Jersey and California, watching live professional games from Europe was almost impossible, and the World Cup ratings from 1990 in Italy were miniscule.

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. Teams are expected to arrive at least five days before their first World Cup game and would remain at least throughout the group stage, except for the dates immediately before and after match days.