FIFA, an international governing body of soccer, voted Wednesday in Moscow, Russia for a joint North America bid to host the World Cup in 2026, marking the first time since 1994 that the United States will host the World Cup.
"Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cu is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport," said Carlos Cordeiro, president of U.S. Soccer and co-chair of the United Bid.
This is the first time that all FIFA associations, of which there are over 200, were eligible to vote for the host. The votes were cast at the 68th FIFA Congress on the eve of the 2018 tournament, which will begin in Russia on Thursday with the tournament's official opening ceremony, according to CNN.
The United bid won by a 134-65 margin, with one vote for "neither" host. Seven federations — the four bidding nations along with three US dependent territories — recused themselves.
The first match of the 2018 tournament, between hosts Russia and Group A rivals Saudi Arabia, kicks off at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) on Thursday.
In eight years, the US, Mexico and Canada will play host to the largest edition of the tournament to date — 48 teams playing 80 matches across 34 days.
The United States will host 60 of the tournament's matches, including everything from the quarterfinals to the finals, according to the North American proposal. Mexico and Canada will both host 10 games each.
Previous hosts were decided solely by the FIFA Executive Committee, which is now known as the FIFA Council, but it has promised to be "more open and transparent" after the 2018 and 2022 bids were controversially granted to Russia and Qatar.
President Donald Trump lauded the United States putting together a "strong" bid with Canada and Mexico back in April.
"The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup," Trump tweeted. "It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?"
The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2018
The president tweeted his congratulations on Wednesday in response to the announcement.
"The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!" he tweeted.
The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
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