For the first time, Canada will play host to men’s World Cup soccer competition in 2026.
FIFA voted 134-65 Wednesday in favour of a joint North American bid that will see Canada, the U.S. and Mexico host the World Cup, defeating a bid from Morocco.
Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal are the candidate cities to host the anticipated 10-games in Canada.
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) June 13, 2018
The bulk of competition will be played in the United States, which last hosted the event in 1994, while Mexico is also expected to get 10 games.
Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, the latter being the only time the Canada men’s team has qualified for the most prestigious soccer tournament.
— Liam Fraser (@Liam_Fraser27) June 13, 2018
With the winning bid, Canada will be assured a spot in the 2026 event as competition expands from 32 teams to 48.
Each bid got 15 minutes Wednesday to make a final pitch to the FIFA Congress in Moscow, with Vancouver Whitecaps’ star Alphonso Davies opening Canada’s presentation.
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— Alphonso Davies (@AlphonsoDavies) June 13, 2018
Canadian Soccer Association President Steven Reed called the decision “an extraordinary honour and privilege.”
CONCACAF, the governing body of soccer for North and Central America and the Caribbean, called the win a “monumental victory” for the confederation.
Canadian Victor Montagliani is the CONCACAF president.
The B.C. government pulled the province to the sidelines for an opportunity to host World Cup games in Vancouver earlier this year.
The city was expected to be a potential host for 2026 World Cup games, but the province could not come to terms with the joint bid committee over concerns of potential costs to taxpayers for competition to be held at B.C. Place.
The same worries over expenses led to the withdrawal of Chicago and Minneapolis as potential host cities in the North American bid.
Canada played host to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.