Vancouver not among Canadian cities in line to host 2026 World Cup

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Putin was the surprise guest of honour at FIFA's annual gathering on the eve of the World Cup, and was welcomed on stage by Gianni Infantino, the governing body's president.

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.

The 68th FIFA Congress will determine the site of the 2026 tournament, selecting from a joint North American bid submitted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, or a bid from Morocco.

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of team Saudi Arabia take part in a motorcycle race on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup near the Bolshoi Theatre in central Moscow, Russia June 13, 2018. Football is known as soccer in the United States. Canada and Mexico would then host ten games each. The United States will host the remaining 60, including the final.

The last time the USA hosted the World Cup was in 1994, with Brazil winning the tournament at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

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Brazil's World Cup preparations have taken a freakish turn after the line-up for their opening game against Switzerland on Sunday was leaked online by a friend of starting forward Gabriel Jesus.

Russian Federation was among those to switch from backing Morocco to the North American effort at the last minute. American soccer officials downplayed the influence of politics on the bid.

"Thank you for the incredible privilege", US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro told voting delegates from 203 countries today. "We have thousands of people who have asked for that - thousands and thousands of people", Trump said. The Spaniards were left reeling following the sudden firing of head coach Julan Lopetegui on Wednesday, but maintain steady +650 odds to claim their first World Cup title since 2010.

The 2026 World Cup will also be the first to include 48 teams.

Willa Frej contributed reporting.

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