World Cup 2026: The final start of soccer in America?

World Cup 2026: The final start of soccer in America?

The USA team captivated the crowd with its amazing football at the World Cup in Qatar, where they were eliminated by the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. The future looks bright with the prospect of a World Cup of its own. Become football In 2026 finally America game?

On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 211 FIFA members gathered at the Moscow exhibition, in a suburb. Glowing with pride, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced that the United States, Canada and Mexico would host the 2026 World Cup. Morocco, the only competitor, lost. the so-called United prayer She started the campaign in first place and never gave up that favored position. The role of the favorite has only fluctuated due to the global divide over supportive President Donald Trump.

The election was global news for a while, but was soon washed over with the order of the day. After all, 24 hours later, Russia, the host country, launched the 2018 edition. It was no coincidence that the whole process from application to selection caused less media buzz than in the past. After the corrupt selection process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, FIFA entered a free fall that ended violently with the arrest of several high-profile figures in 2015, by the US justice system. Therefore, the next host country in the first place should be the choice of reason, a country that football and the outside world will not criticize too much.

North American Trident easily defeated Morocco in the first round of voting thanks to more than double the number of votes. A three-way organization has already arisen at the continental level, such as the Asian Cup, but it is the first time in the World Cup. The proverbial World Cup cake will not be divided equally between the three countries. With 60 matches played, the United States takes 2/3 of the matches, and Mexico and Canada host 10 matches each. From the quarter-finals onwards, the tournament moves entirely to the United States. For the first time, the World Cup will therefore feature 80 matches, 16 more than the current number, an increase due to the 48 countries that will receive a starting ticket.

Again choose money

Since the first World Cup in 1930, FIFA has always pushed the organizational boundaries of the World Cup. Partly due to the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Africa and Asia as footballing continents, the counter hit 32 for the first time in France in 1998, a safe balance for the spectacle.

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Of course, the main beneficiaries of the expansion campaign are FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino himself. The highest rank is still elected by all members by vote of five-time world champions Brazil who carry equal weight as the football dwarf Bhutan. By awarding more countries to participate in the World Cup, he is already ensuring the support of more than a hundred countries that have never tasted world football when he is re-elected. In addition, the World Cup is FIFA’s gold mine: all youth and women’s tournaments can be organized thanks to the profits generated from the tournament.

Just before the 2018 World Cup, FIFA announced the 2026 winners: the United States, Canada and Mexico. © Getty

However, the choice of the United States, first of all, was again a choice of money: North America promised FIFA more than $ 11 billion in profits, twice as much as Moroccan expectations. If FIFA gets richer, the national federations will also receive more subsidies from Zurich:FIFA money is your moneyInfantino once called it.

This time, the choice of money was chosen along with the choice of cause: all sixteen courts are already ready for use. Tournament expansion, which has already been announced before Sweat prayer It started, so Morocco didn’t have a chance beforehand. The Moroccans relied on the votes of charities, as they were absent from the World Cup four times before. It was already clear in the run-up to the decision in Moscow that Fifa did not hold these sentiments. just before the final presentation prayer books Some new conditions were imposed, allowing Morocco to start almost from scratch. For example, the distance between a host city and the nearest airport can be a maximum of 90 kilometers, which is a problem for Casablanca as the airport is located exactly 91 kilometers from the city. Additionally, FIFA has cheerfully dismissed criticism over the voting rights of, among others, Guam and Puerto Rico, officially the US territory but with its own soccer federation.

Another soccer party without negativity

The big drawback of 2026, and also the only feature of the current version, seems to be the geo nightmare. Participating nations will spend more time on board than in the field. The distance between the two parties in terms of the host cities, Vancouver and Mexico City, is approximately 4,000 kilometers. How exactly the World Cup will go is still not clear. The paranoia hanging over the new World Cup format could be detrimental to the value of the spectacle: the system of the best-thirds who also advance to the second round results in a tangle of scores in the European Championship with 24 nations. Preference is currently being given to 16 groups from three countries. However, the teams lucky enough to play the last match in the group will always have the advantage.

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Despite these confusions, FIFA seeks once again to throw a football party without negativity in 2026. The hope is a repeat of 1994, the first American edition, when stadiums were packed to capacity and all spectator records were broken. This version was supposed to turn the United States into a real football country, which for thirty years turned out to be a vain hope.

The stadiums were crowded in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. © Getty

Good football Since then he has made amazing strides forward. After the World Cup, the United States once again had a professional national league football League. Today, the league includes 28 clubs, which is two fewer than the NBA. An ordinary city like Charlotte was willing to pay $325 million in admission fees, which is a huge difference from the city extension 7.5 million fees in 2005.

The call to create bigger, more and preferably as quickly as possible is fueled by the ease with which new teams integrate. The Atlanta success story in particular serves as an example for any newcomer to follow. Atlanta United won the title in its second season, and plays its home matches in front of an average of 50,000 spectators, and the club’s economic value is already estimated at half a billion dollars.

Thanks to these newcomers, MLS is in the top ten worldwide in terms of audience numbers. on their continent late football Also behind the intramural leagues like the NBA and the National Hockey League. The success story enticed Apple TV to buy the TV rights for the next 10 years for $2.5 billion. In short, soccer is big business in the United States, too.

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American cities are divided

The fact that the Americans are already gearing up to host was evident when FIFA announced 16 host cities last summer, the first outbreak of the World Cup madness. Kansas City, the unexpected chosen city, hosted a real one party reveal In the central square of the city. After all, Missouri has used every means to highlight its capital. After other Republican states, Missouri passed a law exempting World Cup tickets from sales tax. Also in Dallas, the city council has shown willingness to give tax incentives for investments and provide subsidies. In this way, FIFA feels at home in the United States, where public funds are used generously as a financial injection for new stadiums.

However, some cities soon chose not to plunder their own coffers and let the World Cup pass. After all, the idea that staging sporting events and associated construction of new facilities means economic profit for the city is long outdated in the United States. Chicago had already declared before the allotment in 2018 that the World Cup would cost the city more than it would receive. Montreal also followed suit, so that Canada only allows two cities. The biggest absentee is the once-tied Washington, D.C., of Boston, two giants in American sports, both hoping to cover the World Cup to update their decrepit stadiums.

There has also been criticism about the construction of Qatari stadiums in the United States. Several workers’ organizations this year have asked for a discussion with FIFA about securing minimum working conditions for workers, a question to which Zurich’s response has been cold and incomprehensible.

23Street However, the World Cup seems to be an effective and sustainable version without excesses, as happened in Brazil 2014, where the stadium in Brasilia, which cost $ 550 million, deteriorated into a warehouse for a bus company. Given the almost runaway growth of MLS and Team USA’s strong performance in Qatar, the tournament may provide a crucial boost for football. For example, the United States may receive one from 2026 your palm instead of fourwhich means that FIFA will once again run for the main prize.

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